AO3Debussy - Pelleas Et Melisande20110203Debussy's mould-breaking opera, with its shadows, half-lights, longing, menace and mystery - plus, of course, a love triangle - cast its spell over a generation and more of European composers. Simon Rattle's debut opera at the New York Met features what he described as a "dream cast" and was recorded last month in Jonathan Miller's production. Presented by Louise Fryer
Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande
Golaud - Gerald Finley, baritone
Mélisande - Magdalena Kozena, soprano
Pelléas - Stephane Degout, baritone
Geneviève - Felicity Palmer, contralto
Arkel - Willard White, bass
Yniold - Neel Ram Nagarajan, soprano
Doctor - Paul Corona, bass
Shepherd - Donovan Singletary, baritone
Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor.
AO3Puccini - La Fanciulla Del West20110210Deborah Voigt stars as Puccini's Girl of the Golden West at the New York Metropolitan Opera. It's the 1840s and the Californian Gold Rush is in full swing - and Minnie, the upstanding tough cookie of a local bar owner, falls for the local outlaw Dick Johnson. But the sheriff Jack Rance loves her too... Puccini thought the opera was the best he'd ever written: here's your chance to find out why.
Presented by Penny Gore
Minnie - Deborah Voigt, soprano
Dick Johnson - Marcello Giordani, tenor
Jack Rance - Lucio Gallo, baritone
Nick - Tony Stevenson, tenor
Ashby - Keith Miller, bass
Sonora - Dwayne Croft, baritone
Trin - Hugo Vera, tenor
Sid - Trevor Scheunemann, baritone
Handsome - Richard Bernstein, baritone
Harry - Adam Laurence Herskowitz, tenor
Joe - Michael Forest, tenor
Happy - David Crawford, baritone
Jim Larkens - Edward Parks, bass
Billy Jackrabbit - Philip Cokorinos, bass
Wowkle - Ginger Costa-Jackson, mezzo-soprano
Jack Wallace - Oren Gradus, baritone
The Pony Express rider - Edward Mout, tenor
José Castro - Jeff Mattsey, baritone
Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Nicola Luisotti, conductor
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Haydn: Trumpet Concerto
Giuliano Sommerhalder, trumpet
Jiri Belohlavek, conductor
Sibelius: Rakastava
Arild Remmereit, conductor.
AO3Janacek - The Cunning Little Vixen20110217LIVE from the City Halls in Glasgow, presented by Jamie MacDougall. Radio 3 New Generation Artist soprano Malin Christensson sings a selection of songs by Grieg, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra end with music by a composer with whom they have a close affinity, Sibelius' Third Symphony.
Dvorak: Symphonic Variations
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Rory MacDonald (conductor)
Grieg: Solveig's Song; Solveig's Cradle Song; En Svane; Varen
Malin Christensson (soprano)
Sibelius: Symphony no. 3
Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen
Presented by Louise Fryer
Bystrouska, the Cunning Little Vixen - Rosemary Joshua
Forester - Alan Opie
Forester's Wife - Sim Tokyurek
Schoolmaster - Ian Thompson
Priest - Laszlo Polgar
Harasta, poultry dealer - David Wakeham
Fox (Zlatohrbitek) - Anna Katharina Behnke
Lapak, the dog - Ernesto Panariello
Cock - Gregori Bonfatti
Hen (Chocholka) - Giovanna Donadini
Mosquito - Nicola Pamio
Badger - Luigi Roni
Woodpecker - David Livermore
Owl - Adelina Scarabelli
Jay - Gemma Gabriella Stimola
La Scala Chorus and Orchestra
Andrew Davis, conductor.
AO3Beethoven - Fidelio20110224One of the highlights of European music-making from last year took place at the Lucerne Festival. Claudio Abbado conducted a stellar cast and a hand-picked orchestra in Beethoven's great story of all-conquering love - Fidelio.
Florestan - Jonas Kaufmann, tenor
Leonore - Nina Stemme, soprano
Rocco - Christof Fischesser, bass
Marzelline - Rachel Harnisch, soprano
Jacquino - Christoph Strehl, tenor
Pizarro - Falk Struckmann, bass-baritone
Don Fernando - Peter Mattei, baritone
Arnold Schoenberg Chorus
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado, conductor
Beethoven: Cello Sonata Op.102/2
Nicolas Altstaedt, cello
José Gallardo, piano
Nadia Boulanger: 3 Pieces
Piazzolla: Grand Tango
Piazzolla: Oblivion
Nicolas Altstaedt (cello)
José Gallardo (piano)
Tchaikovsky: Miniature Overture (The Nutcracker)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Simon Rattle (conductor).
AO3Verdi - Oberto20120517Verdi: Oberto
We're in thirteenth-century Italy where Count Riccardo is about to be wed to Cuniza. But as you might expect, there's a problem. The wicked count has form, and satisfaction is demanded of him by Oberto, the father of Leonora, the girl he has seduced and ruined. A duel is fought which leaves Oberto dead, Riccardo guilt-ridden, and Leonora in a convent. With its powerful choruses, striking ensembles, and rhythmic vitality, Verdi's rarely-heard first opera has many of the hallmarks of his later style.
Presented by Katie Derham.
Oberto....Michele Pertusi (bass)
Leonora....Maria Guleghina (soprano)
Cuniza....Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo)
Imelda....Sophie Pondjiclis (mezzo)
Riccardo....Vater Borin (tenor)
Chorus of Radio France
French National Orchestra
Carlo Rizzi, conductor.
AO3Rachmaninov - Iolanta20120524Thursday Opera Matinee: Tchaikovsky's Iolanta
In the mountains of Southern France in the fifteenth century, ignorance is bliss for Princess Iolanta: she knows neither that she's blind, nor that she is a princess, because no one's told her. But all that is about to change when her betrothed decides to marry another woman, an alternative suitor conveniently arrives and a Moorish doctor comes along with a blindness cure. Katie Derham presents Tchaikovsky's one act opera, written to be performed with 'The Nutcracker' and, like its companion-piece ballet, a satisfying work in its own right.
Iolanta....Olga Mykytenko (soprano),
Rene....Dmitry Belosselsky (bass),
Robert....Dalibor Jenis (baritone),
Count Vaudemont....Saimir Pirgu (tenor),
Ibn-Hakia....Elchin Azizov (baritone),
Almeric....Ladislav Elgr (tenor),
Bertrand....Vladimir Baykov (bass),
Marta....Svetlana Shilova (contralto),
Brigitta....Rinnat Moriah (soprano),
Laura....Victoria Yarovaya (mezzo-soprano),
Arnold Schoenberg Chorus
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor)
At approx. 3.35pm more from the BBC Philharmonic on tour:
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 in D minor
BBC Philharmonic
Gianandrea Noseda (conductor).
AO3Debussy - Teseo20120531Louise Fryer presents Thursday Opera Matinee, this week featuring Handel's Teseo, a story about the fate of the ancient Greek hero Theseus, who has returned in disguise to the city of Athens, ruled by his capricious father Aegeus. Both men are in love - or lust - with the same woman, Agilea. And so the drama unfolds as Aegeus tries to break his earlier promise to marry the sorceress Medea...
Nicholas McGegan conducts a stellar cast at the Gottingen International Handel Festival 2011.
After the first three acts of the opera today (you can hear Acts 4 and 5 tomorrow) there's more from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: songs by Debussy orchestrated by John Adams.
Handel: Teseo, Acts 1-3
Teseo - Susanne Ryden (soprano)
Agilea - Amy Freston (soprano)
Medea - Dominique Labelle (soprano)
Clizia - Celine Ricci (soprano)
Arcane - Robin Blaze (altus)
Minerva - Johanna Ness (soprano)
Egeo - Drew Minter (counter-tenor)
New York Baroque Dance Company
Gottingen Festival Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan (conductor).
Debussy (arr. Adams): Le Livre de Baudelaire
Ruby Hughes (Soprano)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Gourlay (conductor).
AO3Strauss - Die Frau Ohne Schatten20120607Richard Strauss
Opera matinee: Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten Acts 1 and 2 in this Salzburg Festival performance with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Christian Thielemann
John Shea presents this week's celebration of some of the best of Austrian music making
In the mythical land of the Southeastern Islands the Emperor captures a gazelle who assumes human form and marries him. But, in a symbol of her inability to have children, she has no shadow. It is decreed that unless the Empress gains a shadow before the end of the twelfth moon, she will be reclaimed by her father and the Emperor will turn to stone.
Strauss and Hofmannsthal's opera, with its involved plot, heightened use of symbolism and generous passages of monologue has recently been enjoying the acclaim which many have felt it deserves. Calling for a large cast and orchestra and for frequent scene changes, it is difficult to stage in the theatre. but here receives a warmly received performance at the Salzburg Festival.
Die Frau ohne Schatten (Acts 1 and 2)
The Emperor (Der Kaiser) Stephen Gould (tenor),
The Empress (Die Kaiserin), Keikobad's daughter Anne Schwanewilms (soprano),
The Nurse (Die Amme), her guardian Michaela Schuster (mezzo),
Barak, the Dyer (Barak, der Färber) Wolfgang Koch (baritone),
The Dyer's Wife (Die Färberin) Evelyn Herlitzius (soprano),
The One-eyed Man (Der Einäugige), Barak's brother Markus Brück (high bass),
The One-Armed Man (Der Einarmige), Barak's brother Steven Humes (bass),
The Hunchback (Der Bucklige), Barak's brother Andreas Conrad (tenor),
The Messenger of Keikobad Thomas Johannes Mayer (high baritone),
Rachel Frenkel, The Voice of the Falcon
Peter Sonn, The Apparition of a Youth
Christina Landshamer, A Guardian of the Threshold of the Temple
Maria Radner, A Voice from Above
Christina Landshamer, First Servant
Lenneke Ruiten, Second Servant
Martina Mikelic, Third Servant
Hanna Herfurtner, Solo Voices / Voices of Unborn Children
Christina Landshamer, Solo Voices / Voices of Unborn Children
Lenneke Ruiten, Solo Voices / Voices of Unborn Children
Rachel Frenkel, Solo Voices / Voices of Unborn Children
Martina Mikelic, Solo Voices / Voices of Unborn Children
Maria Radner, Solo Voices / Voices of Unborn Children
Vienna State Opera Chorus Concert Association
Members of Angelika Prokopp Sommerakademie der Wiener Philharmoniker, Stage Music
Christa Schönfeldinger, Glass Harmonica
Salzburg Festival Children's Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Christian Thielemann (conductor)
(Continued tomorrow afternoon).
AO3Donizetti - La Fille Du Regiment20120614This week's Thursday Opera Matinee is a performance of Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment given at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The heroine of Donizetti's comedy is Marie, the 'daughter' or mascot of the 21st Regiment. She's in love with a hunky peasant called Tonio, but can only marry a soldier from the 21st. Natalie Dessay sings Marie, and Juan Diego Florez supplies the famous top Cs as Tonio. And there's a cameo for Dawn French in the hilarious spoken role of the Duchess of Crackentorp
Plus today's Russian music is from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: a performance of Lyadov's 8 Russian Folksongs.
Presented by Penny Gore.
Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment
Marie - Natalie Dessay (soprano),
Tonio - Juan Diego Florez (tenor),
La Marquise - Felicity Palmer (mezzo-soprano),
Sulpice Pingot - Alessandro Corbelli (baritone),
Hortensius - Donald Maxwell (baritone),
A Corporal - Bryan Secombe (bass),
Paesan - Luke Price (tenor),
La Duchesse de Crackentorp - Dawn French,
Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra
Bruno Campanella (conductor)
Lyadov: 8 Russian Folksongs
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Stefan Blunier (conductor).
AO3Donizetti - Gianni Di Parigi20120621Katie Derham presents Wexford Festival Opera's 2011 production of Donizetti's two-act comedy Gianni di Parigi.
Wexford Festival Opera is renowned for staging rarely performed repertoire, and Donizetti is one of the most frequently performed composers at Wexford. In 1952 the festival produced the little-known Donizetti opera L'Elisir D'Amore! Gianni di Parigi, written in 1831, is still one of his least-known works. It is the fifteenth Donizetti opera to be presented at Wexford in its 61 years.
It's a good idea to know the woman you're going to marry - and it's a clever woman who sees what the man's getting up to! The story of Gianni di Parigi derives from a popular 15th-century chivalric story about the French heir to the throne, the Dauphin. Although he is betrothed to the Princess of Navarre, they have never met. He wants to see for himself if she is really as good and beautiful as he has been told. He disguises himself as a wealthy burgher and insists on staying at the inn which the princess has reserved for herself and her entourage on their journey to Paris for her marriage. He bribes the innkeeper, commandeers the food and drink and asks the princess to dine with him. She sees through the plot and is well aware of his true identity, but she admires his enterprise and they fall in love.
Thursday Opera Matinee
Donizetti: Gianni di Parigi
Princess of Navarra - Suzanna Markova (soprano)
Il gran Siniscalco, her Seneschal - Alessandro Luongo (bass)
Gianni di Parigi - Edgardo Rocha (tenor)
Pedrigo - Alessandro Spina (bass)
Lorezza, his daughter - Fiona Murphy (mezzo-soprano)
Oliviero, a page - Lucia Cirillo (contralto).
Wexford Festival Opera Chorus and Orchestra,
Giacomo Sagripanti.
Plus, at 3.50pm, another recent Mendelssohn performance by this week's featured orchestra:
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Alexandra Soumm (violin),
Ulster Orchestra,
Howard Shelley (conductor).
AO3Donizetti - Don Pasquale20120628Penny Gore presents a performance of Donizetti's operatic masterpiece Don Pasquale, recorded earlier this year at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. This comic opera, which reportedly took the composer only two weeks to complete, tells the story of the ageing Don Pasquale and his doomed attempt to marry a young bride. Alessandro Corbelli sings the part of the Don and Désirée Rancatore plays his bride Norina.
Afterwards, a chance to hear Anthony Marwood and Lawrence Power with conductor Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra in a performance of the young Benjamin Britten's Concerto for violin, viola and orchestra.
Thursday Opera Matinee
Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Don Pasquale - Alessandro Corbelli (bass),
Norina - Desiree Rancatore (soprano),
Dr Malatesta - Gabriele Viviani (baritone),
Ernesto - Francesco Demuro (tenor),
The notary - Richard Tronc (bass),
Radio France Chorus,
French National Orchestra,
Conductor Enrique Mazzola.
Britten: Concerto for violin, viola and orchestra
Anthony Marwood (violin)
Lawrence Power (viola),
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
Ilan Volkov (conductor).
AO3J Strauss Ii - Die Fledermaus20120705Katie Derham presents Strauss's Johann Strauss II's evergreen operetta where Champagne, waltzes and memorable tunes ceaselessly flow -- and which features everything you'd expect in the way of jealous spouses, mistaken identity and a happy ending.
Johann Strauss: Die Fledermaus
Gabriel von Eisenstein....Kurt Streit (tenor)
Rosalinde...Michaela Kaune (soprano)
Adele....Daniela Fally (soprano)
Ida...Lydia Rathkolb (soprano)
Alfred...Rainer Trost (tenor)
Dr Falke....Markus Eiche (baritone)
Dr Blind....Peter Jelosits (tenor)
Frank....Alfred Sramek (baritone)
Prince Orlofsky....Zoryana Kushpler (mezzo-soprano)
Frosch....Peter Simonischek
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor.
AO3Thursday Opera Matinee20120712Penny Gore presents a performance of Donizetti's sparkling comedy L'elisir d'amore - The Elixir of Love - starring Juan Florez and Diana Damrau recorded earlier this year at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. To the usual operatic plot of the tenor and the baritone being rivals for the love of the soprano this witty score adds a wonderful comic bass role - Dulcamara, the 'quack doctor' whose magic potion (the Elixir of Love itself) causes a good deal of merriment and confusion. All ends happily, despite the moment when Nemorino contemplates Adina's 'furtive tear'... but that gives the opera its best-known aria 'Una furtiva lagrima' - Juan Diego Florez's New York performance of which was so good he sang it twice.
Donizetti: L'Elisir d'Amore
Nemorino, a simple peasant, in love with Adina - Juan Diego Florez (tenor),
Adina, a wealthy landowner - Diana Damrau (soprano),
Belcore, a sergeant - Mariusz Kwiecien (baritone),
Dr Dulcamara, an itinerant medicine man - Alessandro Corbelli (bass),
Giannetta, Adina's friend - Layla Claire (soprano).
Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Donato Renzetti (conductor).
AO3Puccini - La Boheme20120913Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala star as tragic lovers Mimì and Rodolfo in a classic tearjerker for this week's Thursday Opera Matinee: Puccini's La Bohème, one of the highlights of the 2012 Salzburg Festival.
Her tiny hand is frozen - starving, consumptive seamstress Mimì enjoys a few months of winter happiness in her Paris garret with the equally penniless poet-next-door Rodolfo, before the inevitable unhappy ending.
Presented by Penny Gore.
Plus another adopted Parisian - Frederick Delius - take the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andrew Davis climbing in the Norwegian mountains.
Opera Matinee
Puccini: La Bohème
Rodolfo - Piotr Beczala (tenor)
Mimi - Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Marcello - Massimo Cavalletti (baritone)
Musetta - Nino Machaidze (soprano)
Schaunard - Alessio Arduini (baritone)
Colline - Carlo Colombara (bass)
Benoit / Alcindoro - Davide Fersini (bass)
Parpignol - Steven Forster (tenor).
Vienna State Opera Chorus Concert Association,
Salzburg Festival Children's Chorus,
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,
Daniele Gatti (conductor).
c. 3.50pm
Delius: The Song of the High Hills
Olivia Robinson (soprano),
Christopher Bowen (tenor),
BBC Symphony Chorus,
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
Andrew Davis (conductor).
AO3Massenet's Marie-magdeleine20121004This year is the 100th anniversary of Massenet's death, and today's Opera Matinee is a rare chance to hear his epic sacred drama Marie-Magdeleine, in a performance from Prague. The work depicts the events during the final days of Jesus' life, in particular his relationship with the title character, Mary Magdalene. That's followed by more from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and today's Romantic piano concerto by Brahms's great friend Robert Fuchs.
Presented by Jonathan Swain.
Massenet: Marie-Magdeleine
Marthe - Eva Drízgová (soprano),
Marie-Madeleine - Barbora Polásková (mezzo-soprano),
Jesus - Josef Zedník (tenor),
Judas - Richard Haan (bass),
Czech Philharmonic Chorus, Brno,
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra,
Vladimír Válek (conductor).
Lutoslawski: Grave
Paul Watkins (cello)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner (conductor)
Strauss: Das Rosenband, Op. 36 no. 1; Muttertandelei, Op. 43 no. 2
Elizabeth Watts (soprano)
Jakub Hrusa (conductor)
Robert Fuchs: Piano Concerto in B flat minor, Op.27
Martin Roscoe (piano)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins (conductor).
AO3Puccini - Turandot20121011Opera Matinee
Puccini: Turandot
Presented by Louise Fryer.
From the Les Chorégies d'Orange Festival 2012 we bring you a performance of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot, his unfinished swan song from the opera stage. Michel Plasson conducts the French National Orchestra with a cast led by Lise Lindstrom in the title role as the Princess of ice in search of a suitable husband, and tenor Roberto Alagna as Prince Calaf, her brave suitor defying fate. Also today, following our week's theme of Romantic piano concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a short gem: Alkan's Concerto da camera No. 2 with virtuoso soloist Marc-André Hamelin, under the baton of Martyn Brabbins.
Turandot - Lise Lindstrom (soprano)
Liù - Maria Luigia Borsi (soprano)
Calaf - Roberto Alagna (tenor)
Timur - Marco Spotti (bass)
Imperator Altoum - Chris Merritt (tenor)
Ping - Marc Barrard (baritone)
Pang - Jean-François Borras (tenor)
Pong - Florian Laconi (tenor)
A Mandarin - Luc Bertin-Hugault (baritone).
Orchestre National de France,
Michel Plasson (conductor).
Charles-Valentin Alkan: Concerto da camera in C sharp minor. Op. 10 No. 2
Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano),
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
Martyn Brabbins (conductor).
AO3Peter Von Winter - The Labyrinth20121101Penny Gore presents Peter von Winter's The Labyrinth, a 1790s sequel to The Magic Flute. This rare performance was given in the open air at the Salzburg Festival where it was mounted to commemorate the death two hundred years ago of Mozart's librettist Emanuel Schikaneder. It was he who provided the libretto for, and also directed, the early performances of Winter's 'heroic comedy' - a work complete with High Priests, a Queen of the Night, a spectacular battle with the elements, a glockenspiel and, of course, a jolly bird catcher.
Peter von Winter: The Labyrinth or the Battle with the Elements
Part 2 of the Magic Flute
Sarastro - Christof Fischesser (bass)
Queen of the Night - Julia Novikova (soprano)
Pamina, her daughter - Malin Hartelius (soprano)
Tamino - Michael Schade (tenor)
Papageno....Thomas Tatzl (bass)
Papagena - Regula Mühlemann (soprano)
Old Papageno - Anton Scharinger (bass)
Old Papagena....Ute Gfrerer (soprano)
First Lady of the Queen - Venus - Nina Bernsteiner (soprano)
Second Lady of the Queen - Amor - Christina Daletska (mezzo soprano)
Third Lady of the Queen - Page - Monica Bohinec (mezzo soprano)
Monostatos, a Moor - Klaus Kuttler (tenor)
Tipheus, King of Paphos - Clemens Unterreiner (baritone)
Sithos, his friend - Philippe Sly (bass-baritone)
Salzburg Bach Choir
Salzburg Festival and Theatre Children's Choir
Mozarteum Orchestra, Salzburg
Ivor Bolton (conductor).
AO3Bizet - The Pearl Fishers20121108The Pearl Fishers given at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in September with the Netherlands Radio Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michel Plasson. Charles Castronovo and Jean-François Lapointe sing the fishermen whose vow of eternal friendship is threatened when they fall in love with the same woman, Leila, sung by Annick Massis. And the Dutch ensemble theme continues with a performance of Haydn's Keyboard Concerto no.4 with Denis Kozukhin joining the Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
Presented by Louise Fryer.
Bizet: The Pearl Fishers
Leila, priest of Brahma - Annick Massis (soprano),
Nadir, a fisherman - Charles Castronovo (tenor),
Zurga, leader of the fishermen - Jean-François Lapointe (baritone),
Nourabad, high priest of Brahma - Nicolas Testé (bass),
Netherlands Radio Chorus
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Michel Plasson (conductor)
Haydn: Keyboard Concerto no.4 in G, H.XVIII:4
Denis Kozukhin (piano)
Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Candida Thompson (director).
AO3Rossini - Il Signor Bruschino20121115Katie Derham whisks us off to 'Rossiniland' for today's opera matinee: a zany production of Rossini's comic opera Il Signor Bruschino (Mr Bruschino) was one of the highlights of this year's Rossini Opera Festival in the composer's native city of Pesaro, Italy. Sofia and Florville are head over heels in love, but their parents are at loggerheads and Sofia's father plans to hitch her to the son of his old friend Mr Bruschino. Fortunately, nobody's seen said son for years - so Florville takes his place, and even fools the local police into believing him. Will he get the girl? There's only one way to find out - tune in at 2pm.
Rossini: Il Signor Bruschino
Maria Aleida (soprano) - Sofia
Chiara Amarù (mezzo-soprano) - Marianna
Andrea Vincenzo Bonsignore (baritone) - Filiberto
Francisco Brito (tenor) - Bruschino junior / A Police Commissioner
Roberto De Candia (baritone) - Bruschino senior
David Alegret (tenor) - Florville
Carlo Lepore (bass).. Gaudenzio
Gioachino Rossini Symphony Orchestra
Daniele Rustioni (conductor)
Plus jolly ballet music by Elgar and Vaughan Williams' hard-hitting Fourth Symphony.
Elgar: The Sanguine Fan (ballet)
BBC Concert Orchestra,
John Wilson (conductor).
c. 3.45pm
Vaughan Williams: Symphony no. 4
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
Andrew Manze (conductor).
AO3Gluck - Alceste20121122Penny Gore introduces Opera Matinee: Gluck's Alceste, recorded live at the Vienna State Opera earlier this month. Veronique Gens and Joseph Kaiser lead a starry cast with Ivor Bolton at the helm of the Gustav Mahler Chorus and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. This is the 1776 Paris version of Gluck's Alceste, adapted by Ranieri de' Calzabigi from a play by Euripides.
Christoph Willibald Gluck: Alceste
Alceste, Queen of Thessaly - Véronique Gens (soprano)
Admète, her husband - Joseph Kaiser (tenor)
Evandro, a confidant of Admetus - Benjamin Bruns (tenor)
High Priest - Clemens Unterreiner (baritone)
Apollon - Alessio Arduini (baritone)
Thanathos, an infernal deity - Clemens Unterreiner (bass)
First Child / Coryphée - Ileana Tonca
Second Child / Coryphée - Juliette Mars
Hercules - Adam Plachetka
Gustav Mahler Chorus
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Ivor Bolton (conductor).
AO3Puccini - Il Tabarro20121129Louise Fryer introduces the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra's production of Puccini's Il Tabarro.
Daniel Harding conducts the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in this one-act opera by Puccini at the Berwaldhallen, Stockholm. The first in a trilogy of short operas by Puccini, Il Tabarro - The Cloak - is a dark passionate opera with a love triangle at its core and is set on a barge on the banks of the river Seine.
Recorded just a few days ago and featuring an international cast, Paoletta Marrocu is Giorgetta, Lucio Gallo is her husband Michele and Thiago Arancam plays the young docker Luigi. At the climax of the opera the cloak reveals its dark secret.
And at 3pm, live from the Ulster Hall in Belfast, the Ulster Orchestra performs music by Dvorak and Sibelius, introduced from the stage by John Toal.
Puccini: Il Tabarro
Giorgetta - Paoletta Marrocu (soprano)
La Frugola (the rummager) - Ingrid Tobiasson (mezzo-soprano)
Luigi - Thiago Arancam (tenor)
Michele - Lucio Gallo (baritone)
Il Tinca and ballad-seller - Niklas Björling Rygert (tenor)
Il Talpa - Jeremy Carpenter (baritone)
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Harding (conductor)
c. 3pm
Dvorak: The Midday Witch, Op.108
Ulster Orchestra
Jac van Steen, conductor
c. 3.20pm
Sibelius: Lemminkainen Suite Op.22
Jac van Steen (conductor).
AO3Mussorgsky - Boris Godunov20121213Katie Derham presents the Vienna Philharmonic with conductor Tugan Sokhiev in today's opera matinee: continuing the week's Russian theme with Mussorgsky's masterpiece Boris Godunov. There's something rotten in the state of Russia: Boris Godunov, sung by the Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, is a ruthless Tsar who seizes the Russian throne after murdering the rightful heir. Can he enjoy the spoils of his crime?
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Boris Godunov - Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass),
Fyodor, his son... Stephanie Houtzeel (mezzo-soprano),
Xenia, Boris's daughter... Ileana Tonca (soprano),
Xenia's nurse... Aura Twarowska (contralto),
Prince Vasiliy Ivanovich Shuysky - Jorma Silvasti (tenor),
Andrey Shchelkalov, Clerk of the Duma... Eijiro Kai (baritone),
Pimen, chronicler-hermit... Kurt Rydl (bass),
The Pretender under the name Grigoriy... Marian Talaba (tenor),
Varlaam, vagabond... Andreas Hörl (bass),
Misail, vagabond... Benedikt Kobel (tenor),
Innkeeper... Monika Bohinec (mezzo-soprano),
The Yuródivïy... Norbert Ernst (tenor),
Nikitich, a police officer... Sorin Coliban (bass),
Mityukha, a peasant... Hans Peter Kammerer (bass),
Captain... Alfred Sramek (bass),
Vienna State Opera Chorus,
Vienna Philharmonic,
Tugan Sokhiev (conductor).
AO3Delius - A Village Romeo And Juliet20121220In the 150th anniversary year of the birth of Delius, a rare opportunity to hear one of his most highly rated stage works in a recent production from the 2012 Wexford Festival. A Village Romeo and Juliet contains some of Delius's finest music, including The Walk to the Paradise Garden, and reinterprets a dark novella by the Swiss nineteenth-century novelist Gottfried Keller. Farmers Manz and Marti row over a patch of unclaimed land between their farms, whilst all is harmony between their grown-up children Sali and Vreli who fall fatally in love. Plus, at just before 4pm, another great setting of English words.
Presented by Louise Fryer
Delius: A Village Romeo and Juliet
Manz - Quentin Hayes (baritone),
Marti - Andrew Greenan (baritone),
Sali, Manz's son - John Bellemer (tenor),
Vreli, Marti's daughter - Jessica Muirhead (soprano),
The Dark Fiddler - David Stout (baritone),
First Peasant - Jamie Rock (baritone),
Second Peasant - Cozmin Sime (baritone),
First Peasant Woman - Eleanor Lyons (soprano),
Second Peasant Woman - Angharad Morgan (soprano),
Third Peasant Woman - Catia Moreso (soprano),
Gingerbread Girl - Iria Perestrelo (soprano),
Wheel of Fortune Woman - Maria Miro (soprano),
Cheap Jewellery Woman - Mae Heydorn (mezzo-soprano),
Merry-go-round Man - Owen Webb (baritone),
Slim Girl - Hannah Sawle (soprano),
Wild Girl - Kate Symonds Joy (mezzo-soprano),
Poor Horn Player - Daniel Joy (tenor),
Hunchbacked Bass Player - Simon Robinson (bass),
Showman - Leonel Pinheiro,
Shooting Gallery Man - Thomas Faulkner,
Second Bargee - Adam Gilbert,
Third Bargee - Patrick Hyland,
Wexford Opera Chorus,
Wexford Opera Orchestra,
Rory MacDonald (conductor).
Hamilton Harty: Ode to a Nightingale
Ailish Tynan (soprano),
Ulster Orchestra,
Steuart Bedford (conductor).
Little-known fact: the 'Paradise Garden' is actually a pub.
AO3Verdi 200: Un Giorno Di Regno20130117Verdi 200 on BBC Radio 3
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth, Radio 3 continues its year long survey of all Verdi's operas.
We continue the journey with Verdi's second opera, a comedy "Un Giorno di Regno" - King for a day.
27 years old, Verdi was commissioned at short notice by La Scala to provide a comic opera as a follow up to his successful first opera "Oberto". The first night at La Scala in September 1840 was also its last. The whole experience was a complete failure for Verdi, and he didn't try another comic opera till Falstaff in 1893, over half a century later.
In the run up to the one and only performance at La Scala, both his children had died, and just 3 months before the opera was due to be staged his wife died too. Added to that Verdi was given a cast poorly suited to Opera Buffa, who couldn't make the comedy work - and it seems that it was in the performance that the opera really failed, although Verdi's state of mind and haste of composition cannot have helped.
There are strong strains of Rossini throughout - the grand old man of Italian Opera, still alive but not composing anymore - and comic opera tastes had moved on and Donizetti was more the fashion - however Verdi sticks to the more old fashioned Opera Buffa style of a light male lead, Cavaliere di Belfiore, paired with a Soubrette , Marchesa del Poggio, adding the comic elements of the baritone pairing of the Barone di Kelbar and the state treasurer Il Signor la Rocca. However, there are moments of pure Verdi, and the promise of things to come (Nabucco was his next opera 18 months later.)
This performance comes from the archives of Italian Radio, and it took place in 2001 in La Scala, Milan and was only the second performance there of the opera since the disastrous first night in 1840. A student production is not a fair description - the As.Li.Co. organisation (Associazione Lirica e Concertistica Italiana) has been training and promoting the finest young singers in Italy for many yearsand this features a young Fabio Capitanucci, recently Belcore in Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore" at the Royal Opera House, and in "The Trojans" during the 2012 Proms, and currently featuring in Verdi's Falstaff in La Scala. And in the role of Edoardo, tenor Massimo Giordano, who is currently performing the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca in a run from San Francisco, through Berlin and coming to the Royal Opera House in March 2013.
Throughout the year, as part of Verdi 200 there will be added features supporting the broadcasts, including podcasts and interviews, context and synopsis that will be available all year as part of Radio 3's unmissable guide to Verdi's operas.
Louise Fryer presents.
Verdi: Un Giorno di Regno
Cavaliere di Belfiore - Fabio Capitanucci (baritone)
Barone di Kelbar - Alfonso Antoniozzi (baritone)
Marchesa del Poggio - Doina Dimitriu (soprano)
Giulietta di Kelbar - Natalia Gavrilan (soprano)
Edoardo di Sanval - Massimo Giordano (tenor)
Il Signor la Rocca - Piero Terranova (baritone)
Count Ivrea - Nicola Pamio (tenor)
Delmonte - Alfredo Nigro (tenor)
A Servant - Christian Senn Vasquez (baritone)
As.Li.Co Chorus, Milan
La Scala and Toscanini Foundation Academies
Corrado Rovaris (conductor)
Britten: Canticle IV - The journey of the Magi Op.86
Ben Johnson (tenor)
Benedict Nelson (baritone)
Chris Ainslie (counter-tenor)
James Baillieu (piano).
AO3Montemezzi - L'amore Dei Tre Re20130124Penny Gore presents Opera Matinée - a rare chance to hear L'amore dei tre re (The Love of Three Kings), a tragic drama set in the Dark Ages by Italo Montemezzi. Premiered a hundred years ago at La Scala in Milan, the work soon became an international success, remaining in the repertoire until the end of the Second World War. After that its blend of lush Italian lyricism, its Wagnerian use of motifs and a subtle orchestration owing much to Debussy were deemed to be out of step with post war musical tastes. Recently however, the opera has enjoyed something of a revival, as seen in this Warsaw concert performance. Stand by for two spectacular love duets and, as the drama reaches fever pitch, a dramatic strangling by an enraged king.
The Opera Matinée is followed by orchestral music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra celebrating another centenary with Polish connections, in this case that of the composer Witold Lutoslawski, whose one hundredth birthday would have been tomorrow.
Italo Montemezzi: L'amore dei tre re (tragic poem in 3 Acts)
2.30 - Act 2
3.15 - Act 3
Sara Jakubiak (soprano) - Fiora,
Eric Barry (tenor) - Avito,
David Pershall (baritone) - Manfredo,
Nikolai Didenko (bass) - Archibaldo,
Jorge Prego (tenor) - Flaminio,
Magdalena Dobrowolska (soprano) - Young Girl,
Anna Fijalkowska (mezzo-soprano) - Old Woman,
Tomasz Warmijak (tenor) - Youth,
Piotr Ronek (boy soprano),
Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus,
Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,
Lukasz Borowicz (conductor)
Followed by
Lutoslawski: Concerto for cello and orchestra
Paul Watkins (cello),
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
Edward Gardner, conductor.
Lutoslawski: Chain 3
Edward Gardner (conductor).
AO3Chabrier - Le Roi Malgre Lui20130131Chabrier: Le Roi malgré lui
Today's Opera Matinee is a performance from the 2012 Wexford Festival - a festival renowned for staging rarely performed opera. Emmanuel Chabrier's effervescent three-act opéra comique of 1887, Le Roi Malgré Lui (King in Spite of Himself or The Reluctant King), is packed with beautiful solos and duets, vocal pyrotechnics and fun, lively choral pieces. Musical highlights include a large choral waltz in Act II and a colourful polonaise in Act III but the plot is almost hopelessly confusing and complex.
It's 1573 and the Polish people have elected a French noble, Henri de Valois, to become their king but the Polish nobles led by Count Albert Laski would rather have the Archduke of Austria as king, so they conspire to rid Poland of Henri. To add to the intrigue, Henri is also the heir-apparent to the throne of France and he dislikes everything in Poland - even the climate in Krakow is miserable - so he joins the conspiracy to overthrow himself. Almost all the other characters in the opera are wrapped up in intrigue of trying to overthrow the Prince who pines for France but who finally gives in and accepts his fate.
The libretto is by Emile de Najac and Paul Burani, revised by Jean Richepin and the composer himself, after the vaudeville of the same name written in 1836 by de Jacques-Arsène Ancelot (1794-1854).
Henri de Valois, 'King of Poland' - Liam Bonner (baritone)
Comte de Nangis, a friend of Henri - Luigi Boccia (tenor)
Minka, slave girl of Laski - Mercedes Arcurí (soprano)
Alexina, Duchess of Fritelli and niece of Laski - Nathalie Paulin (soprano)
Laski, a Polish noble, Minka's owner - Quirijn de Lang (bass)
Duc de Fritelli, an Italian noble - Frédéric Gonçalvès (baritone)
Basile, innkeeper - Thomas Morris (tenor)
Liancourt, a French noble - Carlos Nogueira (tenor)
d'Elboeuf, a French noble - Lawrence Thackeray (tenor)
Maugiron, a French noble - Simon Robinson (baritone)
Marquis de Villequier, a French noble - Simon Meadows (bass)
A soldier - Colin Brockie (bass)
Wexford Opera Chorus
Wexford Opera Orchestra
Jean-Luc Tingaud (conductor).
AO3Strauss - Ariadne Auf Naxos20130207Opera matinee: Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos from the Vienna State Opera
General Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst conducts his Vienna forces in Richard Strauss re-telling of the myth of Ariadne. But with typical ingenuity, Strauss and his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, combine the serious classical story with commedia dell'arte slapstick as high and low art vie with one another for the public's attention. This version of the opera, first heard in Vienna in 1916 contains some of the most Strauss's most beautiful music.
Richard Strauss
Libretto: Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Ariadne auf Naxos, opera
Ariadne....Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano),
Zerbinetta....Daniela Fally (soprano),
Bacchus....Stephen Gould (tenor),
Harlequin, a player....Adam Plachetka (baritone),
Scaramuccio, a player....Carlos Osuna (tenor),
Truffaldino, a player....Andreas Hörl (bass),
Brighella, a player....Pavel Kolgatin (tenor),
The Composer....Christine Schäfer (soprano),
His Music Master....Jochen Schmeckenbecher (baritone),
The Dancing Master....Norbert Ernst (tenor),
A Lackey....Marcus Pelz (bass),
An Officer....Daniel Lökös (tenor),
The Major-Domo....Peter Matic (spoken role),
Naiad, a nymph....Valentina Nafornita (high soprano),
Dryad, a nymph....Margarita Gritskova (contralto),
Echo, a nymph....Olga Bezsmertna (soprano)
Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200: Giovanna D'arco20130214Opera Matinée, presented by Katie Derham. As part of Verdi 200 in his bicentenary year, this week's opera is Giovanna d'Arco, telling the story of the historic French heroine Joan of Arc. This semi-staged production, recorded recently in Graz, Austria stars soprano Maria Agresta in the title role and Jean-François Borras as Carlo VII, King of France. Carlo Montanaro conducts.
Following the opera, the BBC Singers with Renaissance polyphony by Dominique Phinot, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a London premiere by Sally Beamish.
Verdi: Giovanna d'Arco
Giovanna - Maria Agresta (soprano)
Carlo VII, King of France - Jean-François Borras (tenor)
Giacomo, shepherd and father of Giovanna - Gabriele Viviani (baritone)
Talbot, an English Commander - Josef Pepper (bass)
Delil, a French officer - Robert Bartneck (tenor)
Graz Opera Chorus
ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra
Carlo Montanaro (conductor)
Dominique Phinot: Sanctorum omnium
BBC Singers
David Hill (conductor)
Sally Beamish: A Cage of Doves (London premiere)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Garry Walker (conductor).
AO3Britten 100: Owen Wingrave20130228Britten 100
Benjamin Britten: Owen Wingrave
Based on a short story by Henry James - to whom Britten had turned for inspiration in a previous opera, The Turn of the Screw - Owen Wingrave is a Jamesian ghost story at one level, and a pacifist response to militarism in general and the Vietnam War in particular.
Owen Wingrave is the last in a line of a family of proud and glorious soldiers - portraits of his ancestors adorn the walls of his family pile. Owen is being tutored in the art of war by Spencer Coyle, who runs a military cramming establishment, ahead of embarking on a traditional career in the military.
But instead of being inspired by the tales of his ancestors, Owen is appalled and vows never to join the army. Friends and family try at first to persuade Owen to change his mind. When this doesn't work, they turn on him and one by one reject him - even his intended, Kate. Owen's grandfather, General Sir Philip Wingrave, in disgust at his supposed cowardice, disinherits him. Only Coyle realises how much Wingrave spirit Owen is showing by refusing to back down from his principles.
Finally, Owen is challenged to prove his bravery in his pacifism by spending the night locked in a haunted room - a room where a Wingrave ancestor beat his own son to death for refusing to fight, before killing himself. A terrible scream is heard...
Britten's pacifism was such a deeply held conviction that it was instrumental in him leaving the UK in 1939 for the USA. He and Peter Pears experienced at first hand the shame and pressure to comply with the demands of his countrymen fighting the Nazis, so much so that Britten and Pears did return to the UK in 1942 (on a convoy in the middle of the Battle of the Atlantic!) and the two of them then went through the process of being declared Conscientious Objectors, where Britten had to present his reasons for not fighting. In his deposition to the War Board who decided such applications, he stated "The whole of my life has been devoted to acts of creation and I cannot take part in acts of destruction". Fast forward to the late 60's and with the war in Vietnam being in the news every day, it's not surprising that Britten should once again be drawn to this subject matter in Owen Wingrave.
Britten originally composed the opera for television; this Royal Opera production from 2007 used a version for reduced orchestra by David Matthews.
Presented by Penny Gore, who follows Owen Wingrave with well-loved music from another Britten opera, played by this week's featured orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic.
Owen, the last of the Wingraves - Jacques Imbrailo (baritone),
Spencer Coyle - Steven Page (bass-baritone),
Lechmere, Owen's friend - Thomas Walker (tenor),
Miss Wingrave, Owen's aunt - Vivian Tierney (soprano),
Mrs Coyle - Elizabeth Woollett (soprano),
Mrs Julian - Jennifer Rhys-Davies (soprano),
Kate, her daughter - Allison Cook (mezzo soprano),
General Sir Philip Wingrave, Owen's grandfather - Richard Berkeley-Steele (tenor),
Narrator - Toby Spence (tenor),
Students of Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Kensington,
Members of the City of London Sinfonia,
Rory Macdonald (conductor).
Britten: Four Sea interludes, from Peter Grimes
BBC Philharmonic,
Yutaka Sado (conductor).
AO3Ulisee All'isola Di Circe20130314As part of Radio 3's Baroque Spring, today's Opera Matinee is a rare chance to hear a performance of Italian composer Giuseppe Zamponi's Ulisse all'isola di Circe from Liege, Belgium. Written for Brussels in 1650 to celebrate the wedding of Philip IV of Spain and Mary Ann of Austria, the opera is about Osysseus' wanderings after the Trojan War, and includes many of the gods of Olympus. The opera was a great success at the time, but fell out of the repertoire. This performance was given in a performing version by Clematis, an ensemble which specialises in rediscovering unknown 17th century music.
Presented by Katie Derham.
Zamponi: Ulisse all'isola di Circe
Circe - Céline Scheen (soprano),
Ulisse - Furio Zanasi (baritone),
Venere - Mariana Flores (soprano),
Argesta - Dominique Visse (countertenor),
Mercurio / Apollo - Zachary Wilder (tenor),
Euriloco / Tritone primo / Statua Seconda - Fernando Guimarães (tenor),
Nettuno - Sergio Foresti (bass),
Giove - Matteo Bellotto (bass),
Satiro - Fabian Schofrin (countertenor),
Cappella Mediterranea
Namur Chamber Chorus
Leonardo García-Alarcón (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200 - I Masnadieri20130328Giuseppe Verdi only wrote one opera specifically for London: 'I masnadieri' - 'The Bandits'. Based on a play by the great German dramatist Friedrich Schiller, no less, it had a triumphant premiere with the famous soprano Jenny Lind as the heroine before an audience led by Queen Victoria... and it's flopped ever since. Here's your chance to find out whether that fate is deserved, in a production from the Fenice Theatre in Venice.
Presented by Louise Fryer. Plus, after the opera, motets for Holy Week by J S Bach's predecessors in the job of Cantor at St Thomas's church in Leipzig - as part of Radio 3's Baroque Spring.
Thursday Opera Matinee: Verdi 200
Verdi: I masnadieri
Carlo, elder son of Count Massimiliano - Andeka Gorrotxategui (tenor),
Amalia, his beloved - Maria Agresta (soprano),
Francesco, Carlo's wicked younger brother - Artur Rucinski (baritone),
Massimiliano, Count Moor - Giacomo Prestia (bass),
Arminio, the Count's servant - Cristiano Olivieri (tenor),
Rolla, a bandit - Dionigi D'Ostuni (baritone),
Moser, a priest - Cristian Saitta (bass),
La Fenice Chorus and Orchestra,
Daniele Rustioni (conductor).
J Schelle: Christus ist des Gesetzes Ende
BBC Singers,
Conductor David Hill,
Stephen Farr (organ).
Johann Kuhnau: Tristis est anima mea
AO3Verdi 200 - Otello20130404Verdi 200: Otello
Verdi's great late Shakespearean masterpiece is set against the background of the Venetian Republic's struggles against the Ottoman empire. Appropriately then, this performance was recorded at the city's Teatro La Fenice. Gregory Kunde takes the title role of the respected moorish general in the Venetian army whose downfall is his jealousy. Lucio Gallo sings the manipulative Iago who is determined to destroy his nemesis and Leah Crocetto, Otello's loyal but doomed wife Desdemona.
Verdi: Otello
Otello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army....Gregory Kunde (tenor),
Desdemona, his wife....Leah Crocetto (soprano),
Iago, Otello's ensign....Lucio Gallo (baritone),
Emilia, wife of Iago and maid of Desdemona....Elisabetta Martorana (mezzo-soprano),
Cassio, Otello's captain....Francesco Marsiglia (tenor),
Roderigo, a gentleman of Venice....Antonello Ceron (tenor),
Lodovico, ambassador of the Venetian Republic....Mattia Denti (bass),
Montano, former Governor of Cyprus....Matteo Ferrara (bass)
La Fenice Chorus
Piccoli Cantori Veneziani
La Fenice Orchestra
Myung-Whun Chung (conductor).
AO3Rossini - La Scala Di Seta20130411Mozart: PiaThursday Opera Matinee: Jonathan Swain presents a rarely heard one-act comic opera by Gioacchino Rossini with a libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa: La scala di seta, The Silken Ladder. The performance was given towards the end of March at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Rossini: La scala di seta
Daniele Zanfardino (tenor),
Olga Peretyatko (soprano),
Laura Cherici (soprano),
Bogdan Mihai (tenor),
Pietro Spagnoli (tenor),
Luca Tittoto (bass),
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic,
Alessandro De Marchi (conductor).
Following the opera, this week's featured orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, returns with more music by centenary composer Benjamin Britten - a brand new recording of his only Piano Concerto. Plus songs by the Viennese composer Britten wanted to study with (but his parents and the Royal College of Music wouldn't let him): Alban Berg. And tomorrow you can hear the BBC Philharmonic back in Vienna.
Britten: Piano Concerto, Op. 13
Howard Shelley (piano),
BBC Philharmonic,
Edward Gardner (conductor).
Berg: Altenberg Lieder
Ruby Hughes (soprano),
John Storgards (conductor).no Trio in G, K496; Quintet for piano and winds, K452.
AO3Honegger - Judith20130418Thursday Opera Matinee. With Louise Fryer. Honegger's "Judith".
Honegger had great sucess in Paris between the wars with his 'dramatic psalm' "Le Roi David" - "King David" - and in 1926 he collaborated with the same librettist, Rene Morax, to produce another work that is half opera, half oratorio, based on the Old Testament story of Judith and Holofernes. We only hear Judith (mezzo Paula Murrihy) and her servant (soprano Marie-Eve Munger) discussing the deed of decapitating the barbarian chief Holofernes, so there's not much onstage action, but the sound world Honegger creates suggests far more...
Plus complementary twentieth-century music from the BBC's orchestras.
Honegger: Judith
Judith - Paula Murrihy (mezzo-soprano)
Servant - Marie-Eve Munger (soprano)
Narrator - Liesbeth List
Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo-soprano)
Ani Sagsyan (mezzo-soprano)
Ludovic Provost (baritone)
Alan Belk (tenor)
Netherlands Radio Chorus
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic
Michael Schonwandt (conductor)
c. 2.45pm
Honegger: Cantique de Paques
Marie-Eve Munger (soprano)
Paula Murrihy (mezzo-soprano)
Florent Schmitt: Psalm 47
Christine Buffle (soprano)
BBC National Chorus of Wales
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thierry Fischer (conductor)
Ravel: Sheherezade
Clara Mouriz (mezzo-soprano)
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Clark Rundell (conductor)
Stravinsky: Jeu de cartes
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200: Macbeth20130425Katie Derham presents the highly acclaimed 2011 Royal Opera House production of the first of Verdi's three Shakespeare-inspired operas.
When witches prophesy that Macbeth will be made thane of Cawdor and eventually King of Scotland, they unleash in him a turmoil of anticipation and misery. But Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty. She covets the kingship for him and is prepared to go to any length to obtain it.
Verdi: Macbeth
Macbeth - Simon Keenlyside (baritone)
Lady Macbeth - Liudmyla Monastyrska (soprano)
Banquo - Raymond Aceto (bass)
Macduff - Dmitri Pittas (tenor)
Malcolm - Steven Ebel (tenor)
Lady-In-Waiting - Elizabeth Meister (soprano)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Antonio Pappano (conductor).
AO3Thursday Opera Matinee - Wagner 200: Bbc Sso In Wagner's Tristan20130502Thursday Opera Matinee
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's epic journey through Wagner's Tristan and Isolde continues this afternoon with Act 2 - including the famous love duet, interrupted at its climax by Isolde's cuckolded husband (and Tristan's friend) King Mark. Their concert at Edinburgh's Usher Hall started with forbidden love, too, in Berlioz's music inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Plus continuing this week's twin themes of Stravinsky from the BBC SSO and twentieth century music influenced by older music in the choral works of Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti.
Presented by Louise Fryer.
Berlioz: Romeo and Juliet - Suite from the Dramatic Symphony
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
Conductor Donald Runnicles.
Wagner: Tristan and Isolde, Act 2
Isolde - Nina Stemme (soprano)
Tristan - Ian Storey (tenor)
Brangäne - Jane Irwin (mezzo)
King Mark - Peter Rose (soprano)
Melot - Andrew Rees (tenor)
Kurwenal - Mikhail Pavlov (baritone)
Ildebrando Pizzetti: 2 composizioni corali
BBC Singers,
Conductor Paul Brough.
Stravinsky: Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
Steven Osborne (piano),
Conductor Ilan Volkov.
AO3Thursday Opera Matinee20130509Presented by Penny Gore
Karl Amadeus Hartmann was one of the few German composers to emerge untainted by any association with the Third Reich at the end of the Second World War. Born in Munich, he was a committed socialist all his life which informed his every creative move. His opera Simplicius Simplicissimus was based on a 17th-century novel by Grimmelshausen about a young boy's reactions to the horrors of the 30 Years' War. This original chamber orchestra version was written in the mid 1930s, when Hartmann could see the threat of war very clearly on the horizon. Hartmann's teacher, the conductor Hermann Scherchen, provided much of the libretto. It opens "In A.D. 1618, 12 million lived in Germany. Then came the great war (...) In A.D. 1648 only 4 million still lived in Germany"
Giovanni Antonini leads members of the Bavarian RSO from the recorder in Bach's fourth Brandenburg Concerto, and today's Beethoven Symphony is his fourth, the Adagio second movement of which so impressed Hector Berlioz that he claimed it was the work of the Archangel Michael.
Hartmann: Simplicius Simplicissimus, original version
Simplicius Simplicissimus - Juliane Banse (soprano)
Hermit - Will Hartmann (tenor)
Governor - Peter Marsch (tenor)
Mercenary - Ashley Holland (baritone)
Farmer - Kristof Klorek (bass)
Captain - Michael Eder (bass)
Narrator - Harry Peters
Netherlands Radio Chorus
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Markus Stenz (conductor)
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.4 BWV 1049
Tobias Steymans (violin)
Giovanni Antonini and Lorenzo Cavasanti (recorders)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Giovanni Antonini (conductor)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B flat, Op. 60
Mariss Jansons (conductor).
AO3Rachmaninov - Aleko20130516With Katie Derham.
Rachmaninov's student opera 'Aleko' is effectively his graduation exercise, a tale of jealous love and life set in a gipsy camp. Its series of cameos won Rachmaninov Tchaikovsky's friendship (among others), and launched his career as a composer. Gianandrea Noseda brings it to life in his native country of Italy with the BBC Philharmonic, and a cast of leading Russian soloists. Recorded in the RAI Auditorium in Turin.
After it, we hear the BBC Philharmonic - this week's featured orchestra - in a rapturously received performance given last year in Zagreb; Chief Conductor, Juanjo Mena, directs them in Mahler's epic Fifth Symphony.
Rachmaninov: Aleko
Aleko - Sergey Murzaev (baritone)
Young Gypsy - Evgheny Akimov (tenor)
Old Gypsy - Gennadi Bezzubenkov (bass)
Zemfira - Svetla Vassileva (soprano)
Old Gypsy Woman - Nadeshda Vassilieva (mezzo-soprano)
Chorus of the Teatro Regio, Turin,
BBC Philharmonic,
Gianandrea Noseda (conductor).
Mahler: Symphony No 5
Juanjo Mena (conductor).
AO3Wagner - The Flying Dutchman20130523Wagner 200: The Flying Dutchman
Katie Derham introduces today's Opera Matinee performance of the hugely acclaimed 2009 Royal Opera House production of The Flying Dutchman, starring Bryn Terfel as the ghostly sea captain who is doomed to sail forever unless he is redeemed by the love of a faithful woman. The opera is performed as Wagner originally intended, without intervals.
Wagner: Der fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman)
The Dutchman - Bryn Terfel (baritone)
Senta - Anja Kampe (soprano)
Daland - Hans-Peter Konig (bass)
Erik - Torsten Kerl (tenor)
Steersman - John Tessier (tenor)
Mary - Clare Shearer (soprano)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Marc Albrecht (conductor).
AO3Verdi - Stiffelio20130530Verdi 200: Stiffelio.
As part of Radio 3's Verdi 200 celebrations, this Thursday Opera Matinee is another chance to hear the the Royal Opera's 2007 production of Verdi's Stiffelio, featuring tenor Jose Cura in the title role. S tiffelio, a Protestant priest, returns from a mission to find his wife Lina acting strangely towards him. When he finds out she's having an affair he has to decide if he can forgive her.
Plus more contemporary anthems for the Queen performed by the BBC Singers: music by John Rutter, Peter Maxwell Davies and John Tavener.
Presented by Penny Gore.
Verdi: Stiffelio
Stiffelio, a minister....Jose Cura (tenor),
Lina, Stiffelio's wife....Sondra Radvanovsky (soprano),
Stankar, Lina's father....Roberto Frontali (bass),
Raffaele di Leuthold....Reinaldo Macias (tenor),
Jorg, an elderly minister....Alastair Miles (bass),
Dorotea, Lina's cousin....Liora Grodnikaite (mezzo-soprano),
Federico di Frengel, Lina's cousin....Nikola Matisic (tenor),
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House,
Mark Elder (conductor).
Choirbook for the Queen:
John Rutter: I my best-beloved's am
*Peter Maxwell Davies: Advent calendar
John Tavener: Take him, earth, for cherishing
BBC Singers,
*with Stephen Disley (organ),
Stephen Cleobury (conductor).
AO3Britten - Paul Bunyan20130606Thursday Opera Matinee: Britten 100. Katie Derham presents Benjamin Britten's American operetta Paul Bunyan - a semi-comic allegory of the emergence of American civilisation from 'the struggle between Man and Nature' - as the work's librettist, Britten's friend W H Auden, put it. Richard Hickox conducts the forces of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Following the opera, Afternoon on 3's British symphony series continues with Malcolm Arnold's best-loved contribution to the genre.
Britten: Paul Bunyan
Narrator - Peter Coleman-Wright (baritone),
The Voice of John Bunyan - Kenneth Cranham (speaker),
Johnny Inkslinger - Kurt Streit (tenor),
Tiny - Susan Gritton (soprano),
Hot Biscuit Slim - Kenneth Cranham (tenor),
Sam Sharkey - Francis Egerton (tenor),
Ben Benny - Graeme Broadbent (baritone),
Hel Helson - Jeremy White (bass),
John Shears - Roderick Earle (bass),
Fido - Lillian Watson (soprano),
Moppet - Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo-soprano),
Poppet - Leah-Marian Jones (mezzo-soprano),
Royal Opera Chorus,
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden,
Richard Hickox (conductor).
Malcolm Arnold: Symphony no. 2
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,
Rumon Gamba (conductor).
AO3Honegger And Ibert - L'aiglon20130613Jonathan Swain presents this week's Thursday Opera Matinee: L'Aiglon - 'The Young Eagle' - a little-known work which was a collaborative effort by two composers, both Arthur Honegger (who wrote Acts II, III, and IV) and Jacques Ibert (Acts I and V). The libretto by Henri Cain was based on Edmond Rostand's 1900 play about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte's son, the Duc de Reichstadt - known to Bonapartists as 'Napoleon II of France' and to almost everybody by the nickname L'Aiglon. The opera was first performed at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo in 1937.
After the opera, Afternoon on 3's celebration of the British symphony continues with a work by Robert Simpson. A conscientious objector, during World War II he studied composition with Herbert Howells whilst serving with a mobile surgical unit in the London Blitz. His Fifth Symphony was "dedicated in admiration" to the London Symphony Orchestra, who gave the premiere in 1973.
Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert: L'Aiglon
Duc de Reichstadt - Carine Séchaye (soprano),
Séraphin Flambeau - Marc Barrard (baritone),
Prince de Metternich - Franco Pomponi (baritone),
Maréchal Marmont - Benoît Capt (baritone),
Frédéric de Gentz - André Gass (tenor),
Military Attaché - Christophe Berry (tenor),
Prokesch-Osten - Sacha Michon (baritone),
Thérèse de Lorget - Carole Meyer (soprano),
Duchesse de Parme - Marie Karall (soprano),
Comtesse Camerata - Céline Soudain (mezzo-soprano),
Fanny Elssler - Antoinette Dennefeld (mezzo-soprano),
Lausanne Opera Chorus,
Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,
Jean-Yves Ossonce (conductor).
Robert Simpson: Symphony no. 5
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
Reinbert de Leeuw (conductor).
AO3Verdi - Aroldo20130620Penny Gore presents Thursday Opera Matinee as part of Verdi 200: Radio 3's celebration of the bicentenary of Verdi's birth, featuring broadcasts of every one of his operas. Today there's a chance to hear a real rarity - Aroldo, a reworking of Stiffelio, with Gianfranco Cecchele in the title role, Montserrat Caballe as Mina and Juan Pons as Egberto - and a Radio 3 opera guide download to Aroldo.
After the opera, there's more brass band music from this week's featured event, the 2013 RNCM Festival of Brass, marking another anniversary - the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten.
Verdi: Aroldo
Mina - Montserrat Caballe (soprano)
Aroldo - Gianfranco Cecchele (tenor)
Briano - Louis Lebherz (bass)
Egberto - Juan Pons (baritone)
Godvino - Vincenzo Manno (tenor)
Enrico - Paul Rogers (tenor)
Elena - Marianna Busching (mezzo-soprano)
Oratorio Society of New York,
Westchester Choral Society,
Opera Orchestra of New York,
Eve Queler (conductor).
Britten (arr. Hindmarsh): Occasional Overture (world premiere of a new version)
Foden's Band,
Russell Gray (conductor).
AO3Handel - Poro, Re Dell'indie (acts 1 And 2)20130627Louise Fryer presents Acts 1 and 2 of Handel's Poro, Re dell'Indie given in Basel.
This week's Thursday Opera Matinee is Handel's Poro, Rè dell'Indie - Poro, King of the Indians. Louise Fryer presents the first two acts today, and you can hear the final act at 2pm tomorrow.
Written for the Royal Academy of Music and given its first performance in London in 1731, the opera is set around the time of the Indian King Poro's defeat on the banks of the Hydaspes (now known as the Jhelum) by Alexander the Great in 327BC.
This performance was recorded last year in Basel with Franco Fagioli in the title role, Veronica Cangemi as his wife Cleofide, James Gilchrist as Alexander the Great and conductor Enrico Onofri.
Plus we continue Afternoon on 3's season of British symphonies with John Veale's Third Symphony, completed in 2003 and recorded shortly before Veale's death in 2006 by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Barry Wordsworth.
Handel: Poro, Rè dell'Indie, HWV 28 - Acts I and II
Poro, Indian King - Franco Fagioli (countertenor)
Erissena, Poro's sister - Sonia Prina (contralto)
Gandarte, Erissena's lover - Kristina Hammarström (contralto)
Cleofide, Poro's wife - Veronica Cangemi (soprano)
Alessandro, King of Macedonia - James Gilchrist (tenor)
Timagene, Alexander's general - David Wilson-Johnson (bass)
Basel Chamber Orchestra
Enrico Onofri (conductor)
John Veale: Symphony no. 3
BBC Concert Orchestra,
Barry Wordsworth (conductor).
AO3Donizetti - Belisario20130704This week's Thursday Opera Matinee, presented by Katie Derham, is a new recording by the BBC Symphony Orchestra of Donizetti's rarely heard opera Belisario, conducted by a great champion of the composer, Sir Mark Elder. An immediate success when it premiered at La Fenice in Venice in 1836, it disappeared from the repertoire in the late 19th century.
Under the baton of noted interpreter, Sir Mark Elder, a first-rate cast revive Donizetti's setting of the libretto by Salvadore Cammarano which tells the story of the 6th-century Byzantine general, his vengeful wife Antonina, his devoted daughter Irene, and the loyalty of his former prisoner, Alamiro.
Resuming the theme of the Symphony Orchestra's tour around Orkney, Afternoon on 3 ends with Peter Maxwell Davies' famous Orkney Wedding (with Sunrise). Listen out for the bagpipes.
Donizetti: Belisario
Antonina - Joyce El-Khoury (soprano)
Belisario - Nicola Alaimo (baritone)
Alamiro - Russell Thomas (tenor)
Irene - Camilla Roberts (soprano)
Justinian - Alastair Miles (bass)
Eudora - Julia Sporsén (soprano)
Eutropio - Peter Hoare (tenor)
Eusebio - Edward Price (baritone)
Centurion - Darren Jeffrey (bass-baritone)
Ottario - Michael Bundy (bass-baritone)
BBC Singers,
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
Mark Elder (conductor).
Peter Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise
Jiri Belohlavek (conductor).
AO3Verdi - Alzira20130711Thursday Opera Matinee - Verdi 200, with Louise Fryer.
Radio 3's celebrations of Verdi's bicentenary continue with his rarely-heard early opera Alzira, starring Ileana Cotrubas, Francisco Araiza and Renato Bruson. It's a would-be tale of blood and thunder in sixteenth-century Peru, with the Incas fighting against Spanish imperial domination - but surprisingly, both sides keep releasing rather than killing each other. Maybe that's why it's never been popular... The Inca princess Alzira is caught at the centre of the conflict, as the Inca leader Zamoro (whom she loves) fights the Spanish Governor Gusmano (whom she doesn't) for her favours. Who will she end up with? Tune in at 2 o'clock to find out.
Plus, after the opera, Louise Fryer presents a Sibelius Symphony performed by this week's featured performers: Simon Rattle and the orchestra of which he's Chief Conductor, the Berlin Philharmonic.
Verdi: Alzira
Alzira, Inca princess - Ileana Cotrubas (soprano)
Zamoro, Inca leader - Francisco Araiza (tenor)
Gusmano, Spanish Governor of Peru... Renato Bruson (baritone)
Alvaro, Gusmano's father... Jan-Hendrik Rootering (bass)
Ovando, Spanish Duke... Donald George (tenor)
Ataliba, Alzira's father - Daniel Bonilla (tenor)
Zuma, her maid... Sofia Lis (mezzo-soprano)
Otumbo, Inca warrior... Alexandru Ionita (tenor)
Bavarian Radio Chorus,
Munich Radio Orchestra,
Conductor Lamberto Gardelli.
Sibelius: Symphony no. 4 in A minor
Berlin Philharmonic,
Conductor Simon Rattle.
Louise Fryer presents a performance of Verdi's rarely-heard opera Alzira.
AO3Verdi 200 - La Battaglia Di Legnano20130912Verdi 200
Verdi: La Battaglia di Legnano
Katie Derham introduces an acclaimed recording starring the young Jose Carreras. Written in the wake of the euphoric spring of the 1848 Revolutions, Verdi's patriotic opera has as its backdrop the heroic defence of Italy and its Lombard League against the invading northern armies of Frederick Barbarossa. A dual plot sees a drama of individuals and a pageant of military heroism which culminating in the battle of Legnano itself. The heroic Arrigo has killed Barbarossa but is himself mortally wounded. As he lies dying he calls his former lover Lida and Rolando her husband to him and swears that he has done nothing to dishonour him: "He who dies for his country cannot be so guilty in his heart."
Arrigo - Jose Carreras (tenor)
Lida - Katia Ricciarelli (soprano)
Rolando - Matteo Manuguerra (baritone)
Federico - Nicola Ghiuselev (bass)
Marcovaldo - Jonathan Summers (baritone)
Podestà - Franz Handlos (bass)
Primo Console - Hannes Lichtenberger (bass)
Secondo Console - Dimitri Kavrakos (bass)
Imelda - Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano)
Araldo/Scudiere - Mieczyslaw Antoniak (tenor)
ORF Chorus and Symphony Orchestra
Lamberto Gardelli (conductor)
followed at 4.00pm by
Telemann Les Nations anciennes et modernes, suite in G for strings TWV 55:G4
Concerto Copenhagen, Lars Ulrik Mortensen (director).
AO3Verdi 200 - Il Corsaro20130919Penny Gore introduces an acclaimed recording of this rarely performed opera starring Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras and Jessye Norman.
First performed in 1848 Verdi's Il Corsaro, like Berlioz's overture and Petipa's ballet, is based on Lord Byron's poem The Corsaire. Verdi first expressed interest in the poem several years earlier but by the time Il Corsaro received its premiere in Trieste he had shown surprisingly little interest in the production and did not attend the opening night, which was poorly received.
The action takes place in the Turkish city of Corone and on a Greek island in the Aegean where Corrado, the chief corsair, is in exile. On hearing of the threatening military plans of the Turkish Pasha Seid he sets forth with his men for Corone, leaving behind his heart-broken lover Medora. Despite an initial victory over Seid, and having caught the eye of the Pasha's favourite slave-girl Gulnara, Corrado is eventually imprisoned. Ultimately they escape and set sail for the island, but Medora has already taken drastic action assuming that Corrado is dead...
Corrado - José Carreras (tenor)
Medora - Jessye Norman (soprano)
Gulnara - Montserrat Caballé (soprano)
Pasha Seid - Gian-Piero Mastromei (baritone)
The Ambrosian Singers
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Lamberto Gardelli (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200 - Un Ballo In Maschera20131003Part of Verdi 200 - Radio 3's celebration of Verdi's bicentenary. Today's Opera Matinee is Verdi's Un ballo in maschera - The Masked Ball.
In 1792 King Gustavus III of Sweden was shot and fatally wounded at a masked ball, and this event was the inspiration behind Verdi's opera.
Depicting regicide, even in opera, in 19th century Europe was pretty much taboo, and Verdi had to struggle with censors in Naples and Rome to get the opera performed.
On 9th January 1858 Verdi wrote that he was on his way to Naples for rehearsals and was finishing the the full score. Unfortunately for Verdi, on 14th January three Italians made an assassination attempt on Emperor Napoleon III in Paris and rehearsals came to a sudden end. After a year of legal claims and counter-claims Verdi presented his opera to the censors in Rome who demanded that events in the opera must be completely removed from anywhere in Europe and Verdi moved everything to Boston in the USA. What we are left with is basically one opera with two sets of characters depending on where the opera is set. Today's version is set in Boston.
Riccardo, governor of Boston, is holding a masked ball and is thrilled to see the name of Amelia on the attendance list. Riccardo loves Amelia, who, unfortunately for Riccardo, is already married to Renato, his friend and right-hand man. Renato warns Riccardo of a conspiracy againt him which Riccardo shrugs off, turning instead to an accusation of witchcraft against Ulrica, a fortune-teller. Riccardo is intrigued and with himself and his attendants in disguise sets off to see Ulrica for himself. Riccardo is watching the fortune-teller in action when Amelia appears and confesses that she is attracted to Riccardo, and needs Ulrica's help to settle the situation. Amelia leaves to find a herb in the woods which Ulrica has told her will help. Riccardo reveals himself to Ulrica and demands she tell his fortune. Chillingly, Ulrica tells Riccardo that he will be killed by the next man to shake his hand. Renato appears and unwittingly shakes Riccardo's hand.
In Act 2 Riccardo has met Amelia in the woods and they declare their love for each other. Renato appears to warn Riccardo once more of the plot against him, and this time Riccardo takes notice, but asks Renato to take care of the now veiled woman (Amelia) Riccardo has been meeting. Renato fails to identify his own wife Amelia until the consprators arrive and struggle with Renato and Amelia's veil falls to the ground. Renato is shocked, and seeing that his own wife has been meeting Riccardo in the woods, alone and late at night, assumes the worst and vows revenge.
In Act 3 Renato has decided to kill Amelia for the shame his wife has brought on him, but then changes his mind and decides to kill Riccardo instead. Meanwhile Riccardo has decided to do the decent thing and renounce his love for Amelia out of respect for her and Renato's marriage.
The masked ball is in full flow and Renato discovers the identity of Riccardo's costume, confronts him and fatally stabs him. As he dies Riccardo tells Renato that Amelia was true to him, Renato, and never broke her marriage vows.
This performance was recorded at the São Carlos National Theatre in Lisbon in July 2000. Denis O'Neill, Aprile Millo and Lado Atanelli take the three principal roles.
Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball), opera in three acts,
Amelia - Aprile Millo, soprano
Riccardo - Dennis O'Neill, tenor
Renato - Lado Ataneli, baritone
Ulrica - Elisabetta Fiorillo, mezzo
Oscar, Riccardo's page - Mariola Cantarero, soprano
Judge - António Silva, tenor
Amelia's Servant - João Miguel Queirós, tenor
Silvano - Luís Rodrigues, baritone
Samuel - Ignasi Gomar, bass
Tom - Celestino Varela, bass
São Carlos National Theatre Chorus
Portuguese Symphony Orchestra
Antonio Pirolli.
AO3Verdi 200 - Giovanna D'arco20131010Verdi 200: Verdi's dramatic opera Giovanna D'Arco is loosely based around the life of Joan of Arc. Verdi's librettist Solera also used a play by Schiller as the basis. Verdi was in his early 30s when it was written and premiered at La Scala Milan. It was popular with audiences but not with critics and though it received a number of productions throughout Italy during Verdi's lifetime it's rarely staged now. This concert performance took place at this year's Salzburg Festival and features three of the most outstanding Verdi singers today including Placido Domingo singing the baritone role of Giacomo, Giovanna's father for the first time. You can download a Radio 3 Opera Guide to the piece from the Radio 3 website.
Giovanna d'Arco - Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Carlo VII - Francesco Meli (tenor)
Giacomo - Placido Domingo (baritone)
Talbot - Roberto Tagliavini (bass)
Delil - Johannes Dunz (tenor)
Philharmonia Choir, Vienna
Munich Radio Orchestra
conducted by Paolo Carignani.
Changed long description to "Verdi 200: Verdi's dramatic opera Giovanna D'Arco is loosely based around the life of Joan of Arc. Verdi's librettist Solera also used a play by Schiller as the basis. Verdi was in his early 30s when it was written and premiered at La Scala Milan. It was popular with audiences but not with critics and though it received a number of productions throughout Italy during Verdi's lifetime it's rarely staged now. This concert performance took place at this year's Salzburg Festival and features three of the most outstanding Verdi singers today including Placido Domingo singing the baritone role of Giacomo, Giovanna's father for the first time. You can download a Radio 3 Opera Guide to the piece from the Radio 3 website.
AO3Verdi 200: Oberto20131017Louise Fryer presents Verdi's first opera. Premiered at La Scala in 1839 its setting is northern Italy in the thirteenth century
Count Oberto has been defeated in battle and his daughter, Leonora has been jilted by her lover, Count Riccardo. He's about to marry Cuniza instead. But, despite her happiness, Cuniza herself has forebodings: "This joy that overwhelms my breast is mingled with a mysterious fear". These fears are soon realised, when she meets Leonora and discovers Riccardo's back-story. Cuniza agrees to help Leonora win Riccardo back. Count Oberto wants his revenge for this treatment of his daughter. The two counts fight a duel in the forest and one of them is killed. In such a situation, can there be a victor?
Riccardo, Count of Salinguerra - Carlo Bergonzi (tenor)
Cuniza, sister of Ezzelino da Romano - Ruža Baldani (mezzo soprano)
Leonora, his daughter - Ghena Dimitrova (soprano)
Imelda, Cuniza's confidante.... Alison Browner (mezzo soprano)
Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio - Rolando Panerai (baritone)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Chorus, Lamberto Gardelli (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200: Ernani20131024Penny Gore presents a classic recording of the opera which put the thirty year old Verdi on the international operatic map when it was first staged at Venice's La Fenice in 1844.
Based on a Victor Hugo's play Hernani, it's a typically Romantic struggle between Love and Honour played out in sixteenth century Spain.
Ernani has been defeated in war and deprived of his land and his wealth. But when Don Carlo, the king, promises to take Ernani's love, Elvira, as well things become unbearable: Ernani whipers to Elvira that she must prepare to flee.
Ernani, the bandit - Carlo Bergonzi (tenor),
Elvira, his niece and fiancée.... Leontyne Price (soprano),
Don Carlo, later Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor - Mario Sereni (baritone),
Don Ruy Gomez de Silva, a grandee of Spain - Ezio Flagello (bass),
Don Riccardo, Don Carlo's equerry - Fernando Iacopucci (tenor)
Jago, Don Ruy's equerry - Hartje Mueller (bass)
Giovanna, her nurse - Julia Hamarai (soprano),
RCA Italiana Operas Chorus and Orchestra
Thomas Schippers (conductor).
Penny Gore presents a classic recording of Verdi's opera Ernani.
AO3Verdi 200: I Due Foscari20131031The year is 1457 and the setting Venice. The octogenarian Doge, Francesco Foscari and the senators of the Council of Ten are to pass judgement on the Doge's own son, Jacopo Foscari. He has been accused of the murder some years earlier of a member of a rival family. Jacopo Foscari's wife, Lucrezia begs the Doge to protect his son from the vindictiveness of his accuser, Jacopo Loredano, but the Doge is powerless: the will of the Republic must prevail. Jacopo Foscari dies as he is carried into exile, too soon to learn of a deathbed confession from the real murderer. Despite this confession, the aged Doge himself is deposed by the Council of Ten led by the treacherous Jacopo Loredano, who writes in his ledger: 'The Foscari have paid me.'
Verdi found inspiration in Byron's exploration of Venice's harsh, secretive underbelly in his play, The Two Foscari, which he described as: "A fine subject, delicate and full of pathos.' In place of the grand choruses of Nabucco and Ernani, which preceded it, Verdi's I due Foscari of 1844 takes on a much more intimate tone: rarely has the Venetian barcarolle been infused with such dark undercurrents.
Presented by Louise Fryer
Francesco Foscari, Doge of Venice - Piero Cappuccilli (baritone),
Jacopo Foscari, his son - José Carreras (tenor),
Lucrezia Contarini, Jacopo Foscari's wife - Katia Ricciarelli (soprano),
Jacopo Loredano, Member of the Council of Ten - Samuel Ramey (bass),
Barbarigo, a Senator - Vincenzo Bello (tenor),
Pisana, Friend and confidant of Lucrezia - Elizabeth Connell (mezzo-soprano),
Fante, Officer of the Council of Ten - Mieczyslaw Antoniak (tenor),
Servo, Servant of the Doge - Franz Handlos (bass)
Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Austrian Radio Chorus,
Lamberto Gardelli (conductor)
approx 3.55pm
That's followed by a recent performance of a twenty-minute BBC Commission written in 2009 in which Kurt Schwertsik pays hommage to the ghosts of Vienna. As one critic wrote after the first performance:"An accordion spices a bittersweet Viennese waltz, a toy march hovers between West and East Europe and the final fugue is touched by a frisson of Mahler's First Symphony."
Kurt Schwertsik: Nachtmusiken
BBC Philharmonic, HK Gruber (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200: Attila20131107Presented by Penny Gore.
Thursday Opera Matinee continues Radio 3's series of every opera Giuseppe Verdi ever wrote, as part of the Verdi 200 bicentenary celebrations, with his opera Attila. Riccardo Muti conducts a vintage recording from La Scala Theatre, Milan, with a cast in its prime - including Samuel Ramey in the title role and Cheryl Studer as Odabella, the beautiful female warrior who captures his heart. As you can tell from that, Verdi's tale of the King of the Huns is perhaps not 100% rooted in historical fact.
After the opera, you can hear more from this week's featured performers: the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing British music on tour in South Korea, and the BBC Singers with music by Darius Milhaud.
Verdi 200
Attila - in 3 Acts
Attila - Samuel Ramey (bass)
Odabella - Cheryl Studer (soprano)
Foresto, her lover - Neil Shicoff (tenor)
Ezio, Roman general - Giorgio Zancanaro (baritone)
Uldino, Attila's slave - Ernesto Gavazzi (tenor)
Leone, an old Roman - Giorgio Surian (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Riccardo Muti (conductor)
Britten: The Young person's Guide to the Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Davis (conductor)
Milhaud: Naissance de Vénus, Op 292
BBC Singers
Paul Brough (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200: Jerusalem (acts 1 And 2)20131114Verdi 200 Opera Matinee: Jerusalem
Verdi's Grand Crusade to Jerusalem via Paris.
Jerusalem is a re-working of Verdi's earlier I Lombardi for the Paris Opera in 1847. A German critic once wrote that a Verdi opera is like a garden run wild, and Jerusalem includes the lot: choruses, battle scenes, intense love, retribution, mistaken identity - everything - demanding a full-scale no-expense-spared production and Verdi ordered that there should be no cuts in any theatre on pain of a thousand-franc fine!
All very well in Paris, but Italian audiences always preferred the original - I Lombardi, and although Jerusalem was moderately successful in Paris it never held its place with the top rank of Verdi's operas. Indeed this recording of 1998 was Jerusalem's first in an uncut version as Verdi had demanded all those years before.
Acts 1 and 2
(Acts 3 and 4 tomorrow)
Hélène - Marina Mescheriakova (Soprano)
Gaston - Marcello Giordani (Tenor)
Roger - Roberto Scandiuzzi (Bass)
Le Conte de Toulouse - Philippe Rouillon (Bass)
Raymond - Simon Edwards (Tenor)
Isaure - Hélène Le Corre (Soprano)
Adhemar de Monteil - Daniel Borowski (Bass)
Geneva Grand Theatre Chorus
Suisse Romande Orchestra
Fabio Luisi (Luisi)
Symphony No 1 in C, Op 21
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Stefan Asbury (conductor).
Katie Derham presents a 1998 performance of Acts 1 and 2 of Verdi's opera Jerusalem.
AO3Viktor Ullmann - The Emperor Of Atlantis20131121Today's Thursday Opera Matinee is a chance to hear Viktor Ullmann's political parody The Emperor of Atlantis, written in a Nazi concentration camp in 1943, the year before both Ullmann and his librettist died in Auschwitz. The Emperor proclaims universal war, which so offends Death by taking over his job, that he goes on strike and refuses to let people die. Death will only go back to work when the Emperor agrees to be his first victim.
Then we're live at MediaCity Salford where the BBC Philharmonic continue this week's celebration of American music with a concert of works by William Schuman, Copland and Roy Harris.
Presented by Penny Gore.
Viktor Ullmann: Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis)
Emperor Overall.... Christian Miedl (baritone),
Death - Stephen Owen (bass-baritone),
Drummer Girl - Lucy Schaufer (mezzo-soprano),
Maiden/Soldier - Ivi Karnezi (soprano),
Loudspeaker - Jean-Baptiste Mouret (bass-baritone),
Soldier/Harlequin - Rui dos Santos (tenor),
Lyon Opera Orchestra,
Jean-Michaël Lavoie (conductor).
Copland: Clarinet Concerto
Mark Simpson (clarinet),
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
David Parry (conductor).
Barber: A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, Op. 15
BBC Singers,
Matthew Perry (timpani),
Andrew Griffiths (conductor),
3.15pm LIVE from MediaCity, Salford
William Schuman: Symphony for strings (Symphony no.5)
Copland: Old American songs - Set 1
Roy Harris: Symphony no. 3
David Wilson-Johnson (baritone),
BBC Philharmonic,
Paul Daniel (conductor).
Penny Gore presents a performance of Viktor Ullmann's opera The Emperor of Atlantis.
AO3Verdi 200: Luisa Miller20131128Louise Fryer presents a performance of Verdi's Luisa Miller given at New York's Met.
Thursday Opera Matinee: Verdi 200.
A classic live performance of Verdi's tale of intrigue and love based on Schiller's play of that name, continuing Radio 3's bicentenary series of the complete Verdi operas. Thomas Schippers conducts a star cast led by Montserrat Caballé in the title role.
Plus Schoenberg's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, A Survivor from Warsaw, written in the USA in 1947.
Verdi: Luisa Miller
Luisa - Montserrat Caballé (soprano)
Rodolfo - Richard Tucker (tenor)
Miller, Luisa's father - Sherrill Milnes (baritone)
Walter, Rodolfo's father - Giorgio Tozzi (bass)
Federica, Walter's niece - Louise Pearl (mezzo-soprano)
Wurm, Walter's steward - Ezio Flagello (bass)
Laura, peasant girl - Nancy Williams (mezzo-soprano)
Peasant - Lou Marcella (tenor)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera,
Thomas Schippers (conductor).
Schoenberg: A Survivor from Warsaw, Op 46
Omar Ebrahim (narrator),
Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus,
BBC Philharmonic,
Paul Daniel (conductor).
AO3Thursday Opera Matinee - Verdi 200: La Forza Del Destino20131212Verdi 200: La Forza del Destino (1862 original St Petersburg version)
The Marquis of Calatrava says goodnight to his daughter, Leonora, unaware that she plans that very night to elope with Alvaro, the sole survivor of a noble family condemned to extermination for supporting the Incas in the face of Spanish colonial rule. Alvaro appears on the balcony to flee with Leonora but is interrupted by the Marquis. Alvaro gives himself up and throws his pistol on the floor but it goes off killing the Marquis. Alvaro and Leonora flee and are on the run for nearly a decade before fate finally catches up with them.
This first version of Verdi's drama with its romantically gloomy denouement was a huge success in St Petersburg but Verdi had his doubts, writing to Piave his librettist that they must 'think of a way of avoiding so many deaths.'
Penny Gore presents Valery Gergiev's 1995 account of this seldom heard original version.
The Marquis of Calatrava - Askar Abdrazakov (bass),
Leonora, his daugter - Galina Gorchakova (soprano),
Don Carlo di Vargas, his son - Nikolai Putilin (baritone),
Don Alvaro, Leonora's suitor - Gegam Grigorian (tenor),
Curra, Leonora's maid - Lia Shevtzova (mezzo-soprano),
Preziosilla a young gypsy girl - Olga Borodina (mezzo-soprano),
Padre Guardiano, Fransiscan Father Superior - Mikhail Kit (bass),
Fra Melitone, Franciscan - Georgy Zastavny (bass),
Alcade, mayor - Gennady Bezzubenkov (bass),
Maestro Trabuco, muleteer and peddler - Nikolai Gasiev (tenor),
Surgeon - Yuri Laptev (bass),
Orchestra and Chorus of the Kirov Theatre, St Petersburg
Valery Gergiev (conductor).
AO3Verdi 200: Aida20131219, a tale of love and war at the time of the pharaohs.
Katie Derham rounds off Radio 3's Verdi bicentenary celebrations with this spectacular grand opera.
War rages between Egypt and Ethiopia. Aida, the Ethiopian King's daughter has been captured. She is now a slave in the service of the Pharoah's daughter, Amneris. Radames loves Aida but is loved by Amneris. He is appointed general of the Egyptian army and in a spectaular scene in the second act he returns in triumph, to be rewarded by the unwelcome hand of Amneris in marriage. Aida's father, Amonasro, has been taken prisoner, his life spared thanks to Radames. In the third act Amonasro persuades his daughter to help him discover the plans of the Egyptian army, which she does in a meeting with Radames. Aida and Amonasro take flight but the apparent treachery of Radames is now revealed and he is condemned to death, to the dismay of Amneris. In the final scene he is immured in a stone tomb, where he is joined by Aida. As they die, Amneris, above the tomb, prays for peace for her beloved Radames.
Verdi wrote Aida for the lavish inauguration in 1871 of the Cairo Opera House and with its famous Grand March the work now transcends its operatic origins. It's heard here in a performance recorded in 2002 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels conducted by Antonio Pappano.
Aida, daughter of the King of Ethiopia, now a slave - Norma Fantini (soprano)
Radames, captain of the Egyptian guard - Johan Botha (tenor)
Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt - Elena Zaremba (mezzo-soprano)
Amonasro, King of Ethiopia, father of Aida - Mark Doss (bass-baritone)
Ramfis, Egyptian High Priest - Phillip Ens (bass)
King of Egypt - Maxim Mikhailov (bass)
Priestess - Michela Remor (soprano)
Messenger - Giovanni Iovino (tenor)
La Monnaie Chorus
La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Antonio Pappano.
AO3Rossini - The Italian Girl In Algiers20140116Thursday Opera Matinee with Penny Gore
Written in just 28 days when he was 21, Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) is one of his most enduring comic creations - free flowing and fast paced.
The Bey of Algiers, Mustafà, wants shot of his loving, but to his mind a bit boring, wife Elvira, and decides to palm her off on his Italian slave Lindoro.
Meanwhile Isabella, in search of her true love (Lindoro) who was captured by Algerian pirates, has been shipwrecked on the Algerian coast and brought to the Bey's Palace.
The Bey is instantly smitten by this feisty Italian girl - and the rest of the opera revolves around the plans to escape by Isabella and Lindoro, and seeing how much of a fool they can make the Bey look, before he admits he's out of his depth with these Italians, and welcomes back Elvira.
This performance was recorded last August at the annual Rossini Festival in Rossini's native town of Pesaro.
Isabella - Anna Goryachova (mezzo-soprano)
Lindoro - Yijie Shi (tenor)
Mustafà - Alex Esposito (bass-baritone)
Elvira - Mariangela Sicilia (soprano)
Zulma - Raffaella Lupinacci (mezzo-soprano)
Haly - Davide Luciano (baritone)
Taddeo - Mario Cassi (baritone)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna,
José Ramón Encinar (conductor).
AO3Gretry - Guillaume Tell20140123Thursday Opera Matinee
André-Modeste Grétry: Guillaume Tell (William Tell)
Louise Fryer introduces a performance recorded in June 2013 at Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège, Belgium.
There's a very famous operatic setting of the story of William Tell, by Rossini. But today there's a rare chance to hear the much less well-known comic opera Guillaume Tell by André-Modeste Grétry (1741-1813) - who was born in the city where this production was staged, Liège. It tells the same story of Swiss freedom as Rossini's masterpiece.
A dispute has arisen over how best to show respect to a representative of the Emperor, and - as a lesson - Gessler (the Austiran Governor) has demanded that his hat be displayed prominently in the town square, and that respects should be paid to it by everyone who passes. William Tell defies the ruling and is arrested but is given the chance to save himself from execution if he can demonstrate his ability as the greatest archer in Switzerland by shooting an apple set on the head of his son.
Grétry was hugely popular in his time but music associated with the Parisian opéra-comique form went out of fashion as the more serious German and Italian opera styles became the standard. The première took place shortly after the French Revolution and so the themes of revolt against a repressive regime (in this case, the Habsburgs) struck a chord with the Parisian audience. Grétry finds plenty of opportunity to add colourful interludes and songs, and - as would have been expected, as a standard part of the opéra-comique style - he provides all the key dramatic points with plenty of entertainment and colour.
Guillaume Tell - Marc Laho (tenor)
Madame Tell - Anne-Catherine Gillet (soprano)
Gessler - Lionel Lhote (baritone)
Marie - Liesbeth Devos (soprano)
Melktal Senior - Patrick Delcour (baritone)
Melktal Junior - Stefan Cifolelli (tenor)
The Traveller - Roger Joakim (baritone)
Orchestra and Chorus of Opéra Royal de Wallonie,
Claudio Scimone (conductor)
Live from the Ulster Hall in Belfast
John Toal introduces the Ulster Orchestra's second live concert this week at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. Belfast pianist Michael McHale joins the Orchestra and conductor Michael Seal for Mozart's beautifully poised A major Piano Concerto, composed at the same time as 'The Marriage of Figaro'. Plus Dvorak's tone poem 'Vodník' - The Water Goblin, telling the story of a mischievous water goblin who traps drowning souls in upturned teacups!
Mozart: Piano Concerto in A major, K488
Michael McHale (piano)
Dvorak: The Water Goblin, Op 107
Ulster Orchestra,
Michael Seal (conductor).
AO3Lortzing - Der Wildschutz20140130Today's Thursday Opera Matinee is a performance of Lortzing's comic opera Der Wildschutz from Vienna Volksoper. The schoolteacher Baculus's engagement celebrations are interrupted by a message from the Count dismissing him from his job for having shot a deer on the Count's land. To get back in favour, Baculus enlists his betrothed, Gretchen, and the Count's sister. After much mistaken identity and farce, it turns out that what Baculus actually shot was his own donkey.
Presented by Katie Derham.
Lortzing: Der Wildschutz
Count von Eberbach - Daniel Ochoa (baritone),
Countess von Eberbach - Alexandra Kloose (contralto),
Baron Kronthal - Mirko Roschkowski ( tenor),
Baroness von Freimann - Anja Nina Bahrmann (soprano),
Baculus - Lars Woldt (bass),
Gretchen - Elisabeth Schwarz (soprano),
Pancratius - Gernot Kranner (baritone),
Nanette - Christine Sidak (mezzo-soprano),
A Guest - David Busch (tenor),
Vienna Volksoper Chorus
Vienna Volksoper Children's Chorus
Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Alfred Eschwé (conductor).
AO3Lully - Phaeton20140206Katie Derham presents Lully's Phaëton.
What do you give the Sun King who has everything? Flattery, of course! Jean-Baptiste Lully wasn't Louis XIV's favourite composer for nothing and tried-and-trusted egregious sycophancy is the starting point for his opera 'Phaëton'. You might think that the tale from Ovid (including the inevitable love problems of the gods) with its 'pride comes before a fall' theme was a risky one to put before the king. But rest assured: the composer with the XIV Factor knew the myth's message of 'don't mess with the Sun' would have been lost on no one in the 1683 audience.
Of course, there's more to 'Phaëton' than fulsome puffery and, over three centuries later, the power of some of Lully's greatest music still impresses. The great chaconne that ends Act 2 and the fourth Act's depiction of the Sun's kingdom are just two of many memorable moments brought to life here by one of the leading Lully interpreters of our time, Christophe Rousset who leads a specialist ensemble and cast. Recorded live at the Lausanne Bach Festival. Plus, from 3.30 pm, more from the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
Lully: Phaëton (Prologue and Acts 1 and 2)
Phaëton.... Emiliano Gonzalez Toro (tenor)
Clymène.... Ingrid Perruche (soprano)
Théone, Astrée....Isabelle Druet, (mezzo)
Libie.... Gaëlle Arquez (mezzo)
Epaphus.... Andrew Forster-Williams (bass-baritone)
Mérops, Automne, Jupiter....Frédéric Caton (bass)
Protée, Saturne.... Benoît Arnould (baritone)
Triton, Le Soleil, La Déesse de la Terre.... Cyril Auvity (tenor)
Une heure, Une bergère egyptienne.... Virginie Thomas (soprano)
Namur Chamber Chorus
Les Talens Lyriques
Christophe Rousset, conductor
(Acts 3, 4 and 5 tomorrow from 2.00 pm)
3.30 pm
Chabrier: Gwendoline (Overture)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Neeme Järvi (conductor)
Poulenc: Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor
Martha Argerich and Nelson Goerner (pianos)
Alejo Pérz (conductor)
4.05 pm
Richard Strauss: Suite (Der Rosenkavalier, Op 59)
Kazuki Yamada (conductor).
AO3Arthur Sullivan - The Beauty Stone20140213Sullivan: The Beauty stone - operetta
The Beauty Stone, an "original romantic musical drama in three acts", was premiered at the Savoy theatre in 1898 but has waited until now for its first professional recording. Set in the fifteenth century, the mixture of magic and medieval chivalry, Sullivan's hoped to create a work halfway between the romantic flights of his grand opera Ivanhoe and the wit of his earlier Savoy operas. Sullivan's lengthy grand-operatic musical numbers and his serious exploration proved too much for his Savoy audiences used to the ready wit of the Gibert and Sullivan operas and the work closed after just fifty performances. But the Beauty Stone contains some of Arthur Sullivan's finest music as his characters react to the beauty stone with a mixture of yearning, despair and love.
The opera is set in the Flemish town of Mirlemont at the beginning of the 15th century and the plot is one part Faustian saga, one part Brothers Grimm fairy tale. A young girl, Liane, has a beautiful soul, but is not pretty, and dreams of marrying a Prince. The Devil gives her the Beauty Stone, which is passed around the whole cast, with many confusions resulting. There is a beauty contest, and the prince realises the beauty of Liane's soul and marries her.
Presented by Penny Gore.
Philip, Lord of Mirlemont - Toby Spence (tenor)
Guntran of Beaugrant - David Stout (bass)
Simon Limal - Stephen Gadd (baritone)
Nicholas Dircks - Richard Suart (baritone)
The Devil - Alan Opie (baritone)
Laine - Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano)
Joan - Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano)
Jacqueline - Madeleine Shaw (mezzo-soprano)
Saida - Rebecca Evans (soprano)
Loyse - Olivia Gomez (soprano)
Isabeau - Sarah Maxted (mezzo-soprano)
Barbe - Llio Evans (soprano)
also featuring Peppin, a dwarf, Baldwyn of Ath
The Lords of Serault, Velaines, and St Sauveur, a Seneschal, a Lad of the Town, a Shrewish Girl, a Matron, Knights, Dames, Pages, Aldermen, Soldiers, Townsfolk, Country-folk, Dancers, Lute-players, Serving-men, and the rest
BBC National Chorus of Wales
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Rory Macdonald (conductor).
AO3Gluck - Alceste20140220Louise Fryer with our opera matinee: Alceste, Gluck's second reform opera in 3 Acts, French version, with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble Orchestra and Chorus, recorded last year at the Palais Garnier, Paris. Soprano Sophie Koch is Alceste and tenor Yann Beuron, her husband Admete, as they recreate the ancient Greek drama of love, sacrifice and redemption inspired by Euripides.
Alceste, Queen of Thessaly - Sophie Koch, soprano
Admete, her husband - Yann Beuron, tenor
Evandre, leader of the Pherae people - Stanislas de Barbeyrac, tenor
High Priest - Jean-Francois Lapointe, baritone
Hercule - Franck Ferrari, baritone
Apollon, protector of the house of Admetus - Florian Sempey, baritone
Thanathos, an infernal deity - Francois Lis, bass
Herald - Florian Sempey, baritone,
Coryphee - Marie-Adeline Henry
Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble Chorus and Orchestra
Marc Minkowski, conductor.
AO3Haydn - La Vera Costanza20140227Today's Thursday Opera Matinee is "La vera costanza" or "True Constancy" by Joseph Haydn. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the heroine as she is abandoned by her mad lover. Written for the Eszterházy court in 1779, the opera has many of the attractions that people love in the operas of Mozart. Recorded at the Haydn Festival in Bruhl.
Presented by Penny Gore.
Haydn: La vera costanza
Acts 2 and 3
Count Errico.... Krystian Adam (tenor)
Rosina.... Raffaella Milanesi (soprano)
Baroness Irene.... Ana Maria Labin (soprano)
Marquis Ernesto.... Colin Balzer (tenor)
Villotto - Johannes Weisser (baritone)
Lisetta.... Hannah Morrison (soprano)
Masino.... Jan Kobow(tenor)
Rosina's small son.... Jakob Spering (spoken role)
Capella Augustina
Andreas Spering.
AO3Ravel - L'heure Espagnole20140306Katie Derham's Thursday matinee, ahead of Ravel Day tomorrow, is his one-act opera L'heure espagnole, after which she brings you the final Afternoon on 3 instalment of Thea Musgrave 'Total Immersion' from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers. Plus Elgar's perennially popular Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 and Ravel's masterful orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition
L'heure espagnol
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Lorin Maazel (conductor)
Thea Musgrave
Turbulent Landscapes
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Ben Parker
The Affects of a Butterfly
BBC Singers
Matthew Hamilton (conductor)
Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 in D major
Andrew Davis (conductor)
On the Underground, Set 3: A Medieval Summer (1995)
Paul Brough (conductor)
Mussorgsky orch Ravel
Pictures at an Exhibition
BBC Philharmonic
Gianandrea Noseda (conductor).
AO3Strauss 150 - Feuersnot20140313Strauss 150 Opera Matinee: Feuersnot
Richard Strauss's second opera - Feuersnot, or "Fire famine" is a comedy based on an old bawdy Dutch story. A wizard, thwarted in love, casts a spell extinguishing every fire in the town until the object of his desire - a young maiden from the town - becomes his.
Strauss sets the story in a medieval Munich, his own home town, which had reacted so badly to his first operatic effort, Guntram, and had always been cool towards Wagner's operas. Here the young apprentice wizard Kunrad (Strauss), is besotted with Diemut, the Mayor's daughter, and sneaks a kiss without her permission. Diemut plans her revenge and instigates an assignation with Kunrad which involves him climbing into a basket to be winched up to her bedroom. Up goes the basket - but it stops only halfway there. Kunrad is left suspended, surrounded by the townsfolk and feeling humiliated and angry. Kunrad calls on the teachings of his master (Wagner) to help him cast a spell to put out every fire in Munich. In the spell, Kunrad says that in the town of Munich, which he says laughs at Love - no flame will burn till he has kindled love with Diemut. The scared townsfolk begin to plead with Diemut, but she has already taken matters into her own hands and at the end of an extended, typically Straussian, orchestral passage all the fires in Munich sponateously re-ignite...
Since the disappointment of his first opera Guntram, Strauss had written the tone-poem Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks), and the spirit of mischief and satire that imbue that creep into Feuersnot - which features a street-children's choir and several direct quotes of leitmotifs from Wagner's operas.
Adding to the sense of place, this performance was given in Munich's Prinzregententheater in January this year.
Richard Strauss
Feuersnot (Fire Famine), op. 50, in one act
Kunrad, alchemist - Markus Eiche (baritone)
Ortolf Sentlinger, mayor - Lars Woldt (bass)
Diemut, mayor's daughter - Simone Schneider (soprano)
Schweiker von Gundelfingen, bailiff - Rouwen Huther (tenor)
Elsbeth, Diemut's friend - Jean Broekhuizen (mezzo-soprano)
Wigelis, Diemut's friend - Sandra Janke (contralto)
Margret, Diemut's friend - Olena Tokar (soprano)
Jörg Pöschel, Leitgeb - Wilhelm Schwinghammer (bass)
Hämerlein, haberdasher - Michael Kupfer (baritone)
Bavarian Radio Chorus,
Children's Chorus of the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz
Munich Radio Orchestra
Ulf Schirmer (conductor)
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat, op. 73 ('Emperor')
Marc-André Hamelin
Les Violons du Roy,Bernard Labadie (cond).
AO3Live At Southbank Centre: Thursday Opera Matinee - Gluck's Orfeo20140327Thursday Opera Matinee, Gluck's ground-breaking 'Orfeo ed Euridice', plus performances from some of the artists who regularly perform at SBC including the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Introduced by Louise Fryer from the Radio 3 pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre.
If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside Café to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.
Orfeo ed Euridice (One-act 'Parma' version)
Orfeo - Katarina Karnéus (mezzo-soprano),
Euridice - Kerstin Avemo (soprano),
Amore Mia - Karlsson (soprano),
Gothenburg Opera Chorus and Orchestra,
Laurence Cummings (conductor)
Recorded last month at Gothenburg Opera, Gothenburg
Russian Easter Festival Overture, op. 36
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski (conductor)
CPE Bach
Keyboard Sonata in D minor, Wq. 69
Dejan Lazic (piano)
Te Deum (Four Sacred Pieces)
Evelin Novak (soprano)
Berlin Radio Chorus
Berlin Staatskapelle
Daniel Barenboim (conductor).
AO3Monteverdi - L'orfeo20140403Opera matinee - Monteverdi: L'Orfeo, favola in musica
Monteverdi's colourful fable in music, written in 1607 for performance at the Duke of Gonzaga's court in Mantua, is performed here at Crakow's Misteria Paschalia Festival by one of Italy's leading early music groups. Beginning with its famous toccata, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo tells the legend of Orpheus, who "held the wild beasts spellbound with his song," but who descends to Hades in a fruitless attempt to bring his dead bride Eurydice back to the living world. The drama moves between the pastoral world of the fields of Thrace and the Underworld as Monteverdi explores every musical device available to a composer standing on the cusp of the Renaissance and the Baroque to paint one of the richest and most beautiful tapestries in all music. As a member of the audience in that first performance noted: "Both poet and musician have depicted the inclinations of the heart so skilfully that it could not have been done better... nothing more beautiful is to be heard anywhere".
La Musica / Euridice - Roberta Mameli (soprano),
Orfeo - Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani (tenor),
La Messaggiera / Speranza - Marina De Liso (contralto),
Proserpina / Ninfa - Giorgia Milanesi (soprano),
Plutone / Apollo - Ugo Guagliardo (bass),
Caronte - Salvo Vitale (bass),
Pastore I - Luca Cervoni (tenor),
Pastore II / Spirito I - Alessio Tosi (tenor),
Pastore III....Raffaele Pé (countertenor),
Pastore IV / Spirito II - Tony Corradini (bass),
Capella Cracoviensis Chamber Chorus
La Venexiana
Claudio Cavina (conductor)
Recorded in Cracow at the Misteria Paschalia Festival 2013.
AO3Mozart - La Clemenza Di Tito20140410Opera matinee: Mozart's politically charged La Clemenza di Tito - completed in 1791, the last year of his life - is a tale of passion, intrigue and divided loyalties, set in Ancient Rome. Kurt Streit and Veronique Gens star in this production from La Monnaie in Brussels.
Tito, Roman Emperor - Kurt Streit (tenor),
Vitellia, daughter of the deposed Emperor Vitellio - Véronique Gens (soprano)
Sesto, a young patrician, friend of Tito, in love with Vitelia - Anna Bonitatibus (soprano),
Annio, a young patrician, friend of Sesto, in love with Servilia - Anna Grevelius (mezzo-soprano),
Servilia, sister of Sesto, in love with Annio - Simona Saturová (soprano),
Publio, Praetorian prefect, commander of the Praetorian Guard - Alex Esposito (bass),
Chorus and Orchestra of Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels,
Ludovic Morlot (conductor).
AO3Schumann - Scenes From Goethe's Faust20140417Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's Faust
Daniel Harding conducts an all-star cast in this rare performance of Schumann's dramatic masterpiece which gives full voice both to the struggle between good and evil at the heart of Goethe's work and to Faust's tumultuous search for enlightenment and peace.
Written a decade or so after Goethe's death, Schumann's music, like Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique is a touch stone of Romanticism; it calls for a vast array of soloists and encompasses song, horror opera, grand opera, oratorio and church music as Faust woos Gretchen, Ariel and the spirits call Faust to savour the beauties of nature and he deludes himself on hearing of a new world being created and its rapturous promise of an everlasting present.
The Schumann is followed by a performance recorded a couple of weeks ago of a flute concerto by Carl Reinecke, a pupil of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Liszt.
Presented by Penny Gore
Schumann Scenes from Goethe's Faust
Ariel - Werner Güra (tenor),
Gretchen - Dorothea Röschmann (soprano),
Luca Pisaroni (bass-baritone) Mephisto,
Faust - Christian Gerhaher (baritone),
Marthe - Martina Janková (soprano),
Pater profundus....Franz-Josef Selig (bass-baritone),
Wiebke Lehmkuhl (contralto),
Elisabeth von Magnus (mezzo-soprano),
Berlin Radio Chorus, Robin Gritton (chorus master),
Boys of the Berlin State and Cathedral Choir,
Berlin Philharmonic,
Daniel Harding (conductor)
followed at 3.55pm by
Peteris Vasks
Cantabile for Strings
Berlin Philharmonic, Andris Nelsons (conductor)
Flute Concerto in D, op. 283
Andreas Blau (flute),
Berlin Philharmonic, Yannick Nézet-Séguin (conductor).
AO3Massenet - Therese20140501Katie Derham presents this week's opera matinee - Massenet's Thérèse. Set during the French Revolution, our heroine, Thérèse, must choose between duty and love as her husband and her lover represent opposing factions. After which we join the BBC Singers live in St Paul's Knightsbridge for a concert of Taverner and Tavener in which the 16th-century Missa Corona Spinea is interspersed with 20th-century choral favourites.
Massenet Thérèse, opera in two acts
Thérèse - Nora Sourouzian (mezzo-soprano),
Armand de Clerval - Philippe Do (tenor),
Morel - Damian Pass (baritone),
André Thorel - Brian Mulligan (bass),
City Official - Jamie Rock (baritone),
Officer - Raffaele d'Ascanio (tenor),
Wexford Festival Chorus and Orchestra
Carlos Izcaray (conductor)
3.15pm (Live)
John Taverner
Missa Corona Spinea
Interspersed with:
John Tavener
Hymn to the Mother of God
Funeral Ikos
The Lamb
BBC Singers
Peter Phillips (conductor).
AO3Rossini - Le Comte Ory20140508Katie Derham presents our opera matinee: Rossini's comic opera Le Comte Ory, in two acts, with Stefano Montari conducting the Lyon Opera, Chorus and solosits: Dmitry Korchak is Le Comte, Desirée Rancatore is La Comtesse, Antoinette Dennefeld is Isolier, and Patrick Bolleire is the Governor, leading the cast in a production recorded in February.
Gioachino Rossini
Le Comte Ory, comic opera in two acts (1828)
Count Ory.... Dmitry Korchak (tenor)
Governor - Patrick Bolleire (baritone)
Isolier - Antoinette Dennefeld (mezzo-soprano)
Raimbaud - Jean-Sébastien Bou (baritone)
Countess Adèle - Desirée Rancatore (coloratura soprano)
Ragonde - Doris Lamprecht (mezzo-soprano)
Chorus and Orchestra of Lyon Opera
Stefano Montanari (conductor).
AO3Gluck - Armide20140515Gluck's Armide from Netherlands Opera
Presented by Ian Skelly.
In his anniversary year, Afternoon on 3 presents a rare performance of an opera which set Parisian artistic circles alight when it was first heard in 1777. After his recent triumphs in Iphigénie en Aulide, Orphée and Alceste, Gluck now felt ready for an all-out assault on the French operatic tradition of Lully. By choosing to use precisely the same libretto by Philippe Quinault that Lully had set nearly a century earlier he risked all as he threw his hat into the ring with Diderot and Jean Jacques Rousseau and forged a new, revitalized French style. Gluck's setting of Quinault's libretto, itself based on Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered), quickly supplanted Lully's opéra lyrique and remained in the Parisian operatic repertory through Revolution and war until the time of Rossini.
The opera is set in Damascus at the time of the First Crusade. Armide ensnares her enemy the Christian knight Renaud with her magic spells. But, when she raises her dagger to kill him, Armide finds herself falling in love with Renaud. She casts a spell to make him love her in return. Renaud's love is, of course a mere illusion, something that Armide cannot bear, so she calls on the Goddess of Hate to make her hate Renaud. again. But the Goddess condemns Armide to eternal love. Two of his fellow soldiers reach Renaud and break Armide's spell and Renaud makes his escape. In a monologue much admired by Berlioz, Armide abandons all hope as she sings of her rage and of her despair.
Gluck: Armide, opera in five acts
Armide, a sorceress, Princess of Damascus - Karina Gauvin (soprano)
Renaud, a Crusader - Frédéric Antoun (tenor)
Phénice, Armide's confidant - Karin Strobos (soprano)
Sidonie, Armide's confidant - Ana Quintans (soprano)
Hidraot, a magician, King of Damascus - Andrew Foster-Williams (baritone)
Hate - Diana Montague (contralto)
The Danish Knight, a Crusader - Sébastien Droy (tenor)
Ubalde, a Crusader....Henk Neven (baritone)
A demon in the form of Lucinde - Ana Quintans (soprano)
A demon in the form of Mélisse - Julia Westendorp (soprano)
Aronte, in charge of Armide's prisoners - Henk Neven (baritone)
Artémidore, a Crusader - Sébastien Droy (tenor),
A Naiad - Julia Westendorp (soprano),
A Shepherdess - Ana Quintans (soprano)
A Pleasure - Francesca Russo Ermolli (soprano)
Coryphées - Ana Quintans (soprano), Karin Strobos (soprano), Sébastien Droy (tenor)
Chorus of Netherlands Opera,
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Ivor Bolton (conductor)
Performance recorded at De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam
followed at 4.10pm by:
Falla: The Three-Cornered hat, Suite No.2
European Union Youth Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor).
AO3Verdi - Nabucco20140522Opera matinee
Verdi's Nabucco
Placido Domingo sang the title role of Nabucco for the very first time anywhere in the world as part of the Royal Opera House's Verdi 200 celebrations in 2013. And Liudmyla Monastryska dazzled in the role of Abigaille. Domingo takes on the baritone role of Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Babylonians, in the biblical story which so much resounded in the hearts of Italians at the time. The fight of the Hebrews against oppression and exile took a different twist in a tale of love and patriotism, represented in the celebrated chorus 'Va pensiero', one of Verdi's most famous pieces. Nicola Luisotti conducts the chorus and orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Presented by Penny Gore
Nabucco - Placido Domingo (baritone)
Abigaille - Liudmyla Monastryka (soprano)
Zaccaria - Vitalij Kowaljow (bass)
Fenena - Marianna Pizzolato (mezzo-soprano)
Ismaele - Andrea Care (tenor)
Anna - Dusica Bijelic (soprano)
Abdallo - David Butt Philip (tenor)
High Priest of Baal - Robert Lloyd (bass)
Chorus and orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Nicola Luisotti, conductor
Recorded in 2013.
AO3Bellini - La Sonnambula20140529Penny Gore presents Bellini's bittersweet opera about mistaken identity, romantic love and sleep walking in a production from Barcelona starring Patrizia Ciofi and Juan Diego Flórez.
Bellini La Sonnambula, opera semiseria in two acts
Amina.... Patrizia Ciofi (soprano)
Elvino - Juan Diego Flórez (tenor),
Lisa - Eleonora Buratto (soprano),
Count Rodolfo - Nicola Ulivieri (bass),
Teresa - Gemma Coma-Alabert (mezzo-soprano),
Alessio - Alex Sanmartí (bass),
Notary - Jordi Casanova (tenor),
Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona
Daniel Oren (conductor)
Gran Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona
* Act 1 2pm
* Act 2 3.25pm.
AO3Jacopo Foroni - Cristina, Queen Of Sweden20140605Today's Opera Matinee is a rare chance to hear Jacopo Foroni's Cristina, Queen of Sweden in a performance from Wexford Festival Opera. An Italian composer who settled in Sweden, Foroni perhaps could have been as famous as his fellow bel-canto Italian composers had he not died early from the plague in 1858. The opera tells of the tumultuous life of Queen Christina of Sweden who caused a scandal by abdicating and converting to Catholicism, along with having a secret affair with her cousin.
Presented by Katie Derham.
Jacopo Foroni: Cristina, regina di Svezia, opera in five parts and three acts
Cristina....Helena Dix (soprano),
Gabriele de la Gardie....John Bellemer (tenor),
Maria Eufrosina.... Lucia Cirillo (mezzo-soprano),
Axel Oxenstierna....David Stout (bass),
Erik....Patrick Hyland (tenor),
Carlo Gustavo.... Igor Golovatenko (baritone),
Johan.... Daniel Szeili (tenor),
Wexford Opera Chorus
Wexford Opera Orchestra
Andrew Greenwood (conductor)
Mackenzie: The Little Minister - overture from the incidental music
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Rumon Gamba (conductor).
AO3Strauss 150 - Daphne20140612Another day in Greek Myth Land; another unwanted advance by Apollo. In this award-winning recording, Renée Fleming is nymph-turned-tree Daphne, whose vegetal transformation saves her from the lecherous clutches of Apollo. The tale, with its moonlit sylvan setting, sex, love and death, was a gift to Richard Strauss. Strauss responded, demonstrating his utter mastery of voice and orchestra, with some of his most consistently lyrical and beautiful music, ending with the famously sumptuous transformation scene.
Plus Beethoven Symphony No. 7: a work in the repertoire of Strauss, who was one of the most celebrated conductors of his day. Presented by Verity Sharp
Richard Strauss: Daphne
Daphne - Renée Fleming (soprano)
Peneios - Kwanchul Youn (bass)
Gaea - Anna Larsson (contralto)
Leukippos - Michael Schade (tenor)
Apollo - Johan Botha (tenor)
1st Shepherd - Eike Wilm Schulte (Baritone)
2nd Shepherd - Cosmin Ifrim (tenor)
3rd Shepherd - Gregory Reinhart (bass)
4th Shepherd - Carsten Wittmoser (bass bartione)
1st Maid - Julia Kleiter (soprano)
2nd Maid - Twyla Robinson (soprano)
WDR Chorus and Symphony Orchestra
Semyon Bychkov (conductor)
3.50 pm
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op.92
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Donald Runnicles (conductor).
AO3Puccini's La Rondine20140619Opera matinee - Puccini's La Rondine
Angela Gheorghiu stars in this highly-acclaimed production recorded last year at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Magda enjoys a comfortable life as the mistress of the rich banker Rambaldo, but this all changes when she meets the young Ruggero who falls in love with her. She leaves Rambaldo for him, but is she really in love with Ruggero, or just trying to recreate the exciting romances of her youth? Angela Gheorghiu sings Madga, the restless swallow in the title of Puccini's light opera La Rondine, with Charles Castronovo as her unfortunate lover. Marco Armiliato conducts the Royal Opera House Orchestra in Puccini's little-known but very tuneful score.
Presented by Katie Derham
Magda - Angela Gheorghiu (soprano),
Ruggero Lastouc - Charles Castronovo (tenor),
Lisette - Sabina Puertolas (soprano),
Prunier - Edgaras Montvidas (tenor),
Rambaldo Fernandez - Pietro Spagnoli (baritone),
Yvette - Dušica Bijelic (soprano),
Bianca - Hanna Hipp (soprano),
Suzy - Justina Gringyte (mezzo-soprano),
Gobin - Pablo Bemsch (tenor),
Périchaud - John Cunningham (baritone),
Crébillon - Ashley Riches (bass),
Georgette - Kathy Batho (soprano),
Gabriella - Melissa Alder (soprano),
Lolette - Amanda Floyd (soprano),
Rabonier - Jonathan Fisher (bass),
Young Man - Elliot Goldie (tenor),
Distant Voice - Dušica Bijelic (soprano),
Maître d'hôtel - John Bernays (bass),
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conducted by Marco Armiliato
followed at approx 3.50pm by one of the three cello concertos featured this week written for Raphael Wallfisch.
Christopher Wright: Cello Concerto
Raphael Wallfisch (cello)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, William Boughton (conductor)
c. 4.10pm
Ah, lo previdi... Ah, t'invola - recitative and aria K.272
Ailish Tynan (soprano)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Jac van Steen (conductor).
AO3Rossini - Tancredi20140710Rossini's Tancredi has a plot whose convoluted complications risk making even the most committed operaphile go cross-eyed. Suffice to say that, set in 11th century Syracuse, it features two endlessly feuding families (think Romeo and Juliet), a father who condemns to death his own daughter, a love triangle (of course), mistaken identity and a knight in shining armour.
But more to the point, Tancredi is one of Rossini's most lyrical works and contains numbers like 'Di tanti palpiti' which became a hit all over Europe and still wows audiences today. This recording was made at the recent highly acclaimed production at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, and features an international cast, led by the celebrated Canadian coloratura contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux as the eponymous knight.
Rossini: Tancredi (Act 1)
Tancredi.... Marie-Nicole Lemieux (contralto)
Amenaide.... Patrizia Ciofi (soprano)
Argirio.... Antonino Siragusa (tenor)
Orbazzano.... Christian Helmer (bass)
Isaura.... Josè Maria Lo Monaco (contralto)
Roggiero.... Sarah Tynan (mezzo-soprano)
Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra
Enrique Mazzola (conductor)
(Act 2 tomorrow at 2.00pm)
Plus more from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and its Artist in Residence Gil Shaham, soloists and archive. Jonathan Swain presents.
3.15 pm
Mendelssohn: Octet in E flat, op. 20
Gil Shaham (violin) with Soloists of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra:
Tobias Steymans, Yi Li, Heather Cottrell (violins)
Hermann Menninghaus, Ben Hames (viola)
Sebastian Klinger, Hanno Simons (violoncello)
Symphony No. 7 in D minor
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík (conductor).
AO3Monteverdi - L'incoronazione Di Poppea20140717Penny Gore presents Part I of Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea with Concerto Italiano and Rinaldo Alessandrini plus music by Strauss and Bruch from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Presented by Penny Gore.
Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione di Poppea Part I
La Fortuna / Drusilla - Gaëlle Arquez (mezzo-soprano)
La Virtù / Damigella - Jael Azzaretti (soprano)
Amore - Amel Brahim-Djelloul (soprano)
Ottone - Varduhi Abrahamyan (mezzo-soprano)
Poppea - Karine Deshayes (mezzo-soprano)
Nerone - Jeremy Ovenden (tenor)
Arnalta - Manuel Nunes Camelino (tenor)
Ottavia - Monica Bacelli (mezzo-soprano)
Nutrice - Giuseppe de Vittorio (tenor)
Seneca - Andrea Concetti (bass)
Valletto - Marie-Adeline Henry (soprano)
Mercurio - Nahuel Di Piero (bass)
Secondo Tribuno / Famigliare di Seneca - Salvo Vitale (bass)
Soldato pretoriano/Lucano/Famigliare di Seneca - Valerio Contaldo (tenor)
Soldato pretoriano / Liberto / Primo Tribuno - Furio Zanasi (baritone)
Concerto Italiano
Rinaldo Alessandrini, conductor
Strauss: Burleske in D minor AV.85 for piano and orchestra
Martin Roscoe, piano
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Gourlay, conductor
Bruch: Scottish Fantasy Op.46 for violin and orchestra
Jack Liebeck, violin
Martyn Brabbins, conductor.
AO3Strauss 150: Friedenstag20140925Strauss 150
Friedenstag is a 1-act opera composed by Strauss just before the outbreak of World War 2. The idea for the story came from Stefan Zweig who'd worked with Strauss before. Strauss had been criticised for working with Zweig because he was a Jew so it was agreed that Joseph Gregor would write the libretto. It's an opera about peace and is set in the early 17th century during the Thirty Years War. A Commandant defending his fortress from attack, decides to die rather than give in. But news of peace arrives and he and his former enemy decide to work together for a better world. The opera is a rarity on stage and in recordings but this one is conducted by one of the great Strauss conductors, Wolfgang Sawallisch. Presented by Verity Sharp who also introduces the Radio 3 Opera Guide to Friedenstag.
Commandant - Bernd Weikl (baritone)
Maria, his wife - Sabine Hass (soprano)
Sergeant Major - Jaakko Ryhanen (bass)
A Private - Jan Vacik (tenor)
A Munitions Officer - Jan Hendrik-Rootering (bass-baritone)
A Musketeer - Alfred Kuhn (bass-baritone)
A bugler - Gerhard Auer (bass)
An officer - Florian Cerny (baritone)
A front line officer - Thomas Woodman (baritone)
A Piedmontese - Eduardo Villa (tenor)
The Holsteiner - Kurt Moll (bass)
The Mayor - Robert Shunk (tenor)
The bishop - Karl Helm (baritone)
Townswoman - Cornelia Wulkopf (soprano)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch.
After the opera, highlights from recent concerts by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
AO3Strauss's Intermezzo20141016Richard Strauss 150: Intermezzo, Strauss's 2 act comedy with Lucia Popp and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Katie Derham presents this week's opera matinee as part of Radio 3's continuing complete Strauss opera series to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth. Intermezzo has a libretto by Strauss himself and is his first attempt at writing what he called "a completely modern, absolutely realistic psychological comedy of character." Intermezzo was apparently based on incidents from Strauss's own family life with Strauss depicted by Robert Storch and his wife, Pauline by Christine Storch. Alas, when it was first performed at the Dresden Semperoper in 1924 with sets modelled on those in the Strauss home, Pauline was far from amused by her husband's "bourgeois comedy with symphonic interludes."
This classic 1980 recording features many singers known for their interpretations of Strauss and is conducted by one of the leading Strauss conductors of the twentieth century.
Christine Storch....Lucia Popp (soprano)
Robert Storch....Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)
Franzl their son....Philipp Brammer (spoken)
Anna, their maid....Gabriele Fuchs (soprano)
Baron Lummer....Adolf Dallapozza (tenor)
The Notary....Klaus Hirte (baritone)
His Wife....Gudrun Greindl-Rosner (soprano)
Kapellmeister Stroh....Martin Finke (tenor)
A commercial counsellor....Raimund Grumbach (baritone)
A legal counsellor....Jorn W. Wilsing (baritone)
A singer....Kurt Moll (bass)
Fanny the cook....Elisabeth Woska (spoken)
Marie, Therese....Erika Ruggeberg (spoken)
Resi, a young girl....Karin Hautermann (soprano)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch (conductor).
AO3Rossini - Aureliano In Palmira20141023Today's Opera Matinee is by Rossini, his opera seria "Aureliano in Palmira" a historical tale of Love and War between the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (Aureliano), and Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, a city in Syria.
For such a rarity (Aureliano in Palmira was a flop at its first outing, never re-staged in Rossini's lifetime and disappearing almost without trace), a great deal of the music sounds familiar - very familiar in fact. From the Overture there is more than a nagging sense that you've heard this before somewhere and that is because Rossini re-cycled his forlorn historical drama into one of his comic masterpieces "The Barber of Seville" (which also flopped on its first outing, but history has been kinder to it). So the quality of the music is assured.
And the setting of the Rossini Festival Pesaro is the most sympathetic place to hear again this original score with the outstanding pairing of tenor Michael Spyres as the Roman emperor Aureliano and soprano Jessica Pratt as the Palmyran queen Zenobia.
We hear Act 1 today and Act 2 is tomorrow
2pm Opera Matinee
Rossini: Aureliano in Palmira - opera seria in 2 Acts
From the 2014 Pesaro Festival
Act 1
Act 1 begins in the temple in Palmyra. Queen Zenobia, her lover Arsace, Prince of Persia, and the citizens of Palmyra are praying for deliverance from the Romans, led by the emperor Marcus Aurelius (Aureliano), who are approaching the city gates.
Battle is joined outside the city and the Romans defeat the Palmyrans and capture Arsace, who declares his love for Zenobia to Aureliano. Zenobia tries to negotiate the release of her captured citizens, but Aureliano is adamant and prepares to enter Palmyra itself.
Zenobia prepares the city for one last desperate defence, knowing that her lover Arsace is already in the hands of Aureliano.
Aureliano - Michael Spyres (tenor)
Zenobia - Jessica Pratt (soprano)
Arsace - Lena Belkina (mezzo-soprano)
Publia - Raffaella Lupinacci (mezzo-soprano)
Oraspe - Dempsey C'Rivera (tenor)
High Priest - Dimitri Pkhaladze (bass)
Priest - Raffaele Constantini (bass)
Licinio - Sergio Vitale (baritone)
Chorus of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna
Gioachino Rossini Symphony Orchestra/
Will Crutchfield (conductor)
(Act 2 tomorrow at 2pm)
Symphony No.4 in C minor (D.417) "Tragic"
BBC Philharmonic.
AO3Rameau - Les Boreades20141030Verity Sharp with our opera matinee: Rameau's lyric tragedy in five acts Les Boréades, commemorating the 250th anniversary of his death, performed by Marc Minkowski conducting Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble and the Aedes Ensemble at this year's Aix-en-Provence Festival. Based on the Greek legend of Abaris the Hyperborean, this opera, the composer's last lyric tragedy, features soprano Julie Fuchs as Alphise and tenor Samuel Boden as her lover Abaris.
Jean-Philippe Rameau - Les Boréades, lyric tragedy in five acts, with libretto by Louis de Cahusac
Recorded in July, 2014 at the Grand Théâtre de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, as part of the Aix-en-Provence Festival
Alphise - Julie Fuchs (soprano)
Abaris - Samuel Boden (tenor)
Semire, Amour, Polymnie - Chloe Briot (soprano)
Calisis - Manuel Nunez-Camelino (tenor)
Borilée - Jean-Gabriel Saint-Martin (baritone)
Borée - Damien Pass, (bass-baritone)
Apollon, Adamas - Mathieu Gardon, (baritone)
Aedes Ensemble
Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble
Marc Minkowski (conductor).
AO3Meyerbeer - L'africaine (acts 1-3)20141106Not one but three love triangles, a love potion, wounded pride, and a poison tree are all part of the heady mix of the rather un-PC plot of Meyerbeer's L'Africaine. Driven, impetuous and the possessor of a massive ego, Vasco da Gama is thwarted by rival explorer Don Pedro in his attempt to gain royal backing for an expedition to the uncharted zone beyond Africa. Vasco nonetheless sets sail, in bitter pursuit of Don Pedro who also happens to be married to Inès, Vasco's old flame. Taking with him a couple of slaves from a previous expedition, Nélusko and Sélika (the proud and regal African woman of the title), Vasco catches up with Don Pedro. The Europeans are shipwrecked and captured by Sélika's compatriots. With all his countrymen executed (and the women marched off to the poison tree), Vasco marries Sélika and decides, with the help of a love potion, that his new life isn't so bad, after all. But in the end, Sélika resolves that Inès is Vasco's real true love and helpfully takes herself off to the poison tree so that Vasco and Inès can sail back home together to Portugal.
When it came to L'Africaine, Meyerbeer didn't hold back: mid-nineteenth century opera doesn't come much grander than this. The monster five-acter, begun in 1837, originally clocked in at over six hours (Meyerbeer died during rehearsals) but was cut to a more practical three for its 1865 premiere. L'Africaine's long gestation and tortuous progress to its final version led to various confusing anomalies, including references to Indian religion in what appears to be Madagascar. But with Sélika Meyerbeer came up with the operatic prototype of the ill-fated exotic woman whose love for a white man proves her undoing.
This live recording was made last November at one of Italy's most famous opera houses, Venice's historic La Fenice. Concludes tomorrow with Acts 4 and 5.
Plus Strauss from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Penny Gore Presents.
Meyerbeer: L'Africaine (acts 1 - 3)
Sélika....Veronica Simeoni (soprano)
Vasco da Gama....Gregory Kunde (tenor)
Inès....Jessica Pratt (soprano)
Nélusko-.. Angelo Veccia (baritone)
Don Pédro-.. Luca dall'Amico (bass)
Don Diégo-.. Davide Ruberti (bass)
Anna-.. Anna Bordignon (mezzo-soprano)
Don Alvaro-.. Emanuele Giannino (tenor)
Grand Inquisitor of Lisbon-.. Mattia Denti (bass)
High Priest of Brahma-.. Ruben Amoretti (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro La Fenice
Emmanuel Villaume (conductor)
Strauss: Violin Concerto in D minor Op.8
Tanja Becker-Bender (violin)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Garry Walker (conductor).
AO3Strauss 150 - Guntram20141113Richard Strauss 150: Katie Derham presents the rarely-heard Guntram, continuing our complete Strauss opera series in today's opera matinee. Strauss's first opera owes much to the influence of Wagner, whose Act I Prelude to Parsifal follows. Strauss wrote his own libretto and the 13th-century setting, character names, and singing contest integral to the plot reveal Wagnerian influences.
Strauss: Guntram
Guntram - Reiner Goldberg (tenor)
Freihild - Ilona Tokody (soprano)
The Old Duke - Sander Sólyom-Nagy (bass)
Robert - István Gáti (baritone)
The Duke's Fool - János Bándi (tenor)
Hungarian State Orchestra
Eve Queler (conductor)
Wagner: Prelude to Act I of 'Parsifal'
Orchestre National de France
Alain Altinoglu (conductor).
AO3Strauss 150: Die Schweigsame Frau20141127STRAUSS 150
Katie Derham presents this week's opera matinee as part of Radio 3's continuing complete Strauss opera series to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.
A landmark live performance of Strauss's 3-act comedy Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman), Op. 80, recorded at the Salzburg Festival on 6th August 1959. A stellar cast list, including Hans Hotter Lucia Popp and Georgine von Milinkovic, is directed by of one of the great Strauss conductors, Karl Böhm.
The libretto for Die schweigsame Frau was the result of Strauss's only collaboration with the Jewish author Stefan Zweig, based on Ben Jonson's play, "The Silent Woman." Cantankerous outbursts are commonplace in the life of Sir John Morosus, a retired admiral who is hypersensitive to all kinds of noise - including the music of an opera troupe ushered in by the unexpected return of his long-lost nephew. Soon Morosus is at the centre of a farce cooked up by various characters, who present him with an allegedly silent woman to marry. However, the relationship turns into a hilarious nightmare.
Richard Strauss: Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman), Op. 80
Sir Morosus - Hans Hotter (bass-baritone)
Seine Haushälterin (His Housekeeper) - Georgine von Milinkovic (mezzo-soprano)
Der Barbier (The Barber) - Hermann Prey (baritone)
Henry Morosus - Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
Aminta (His wife) - Hilde Güden (soprano)
Isotta - Pierrette Alarie (soprano)
Carlotta - Hetty Plümacher (mezzo-soprano)
Morbio - Josef Knapp (baritone)
Vanuzzi - Karl Dönch (bass-baritone)
Farfallo - Alois Pernerstorfer (bass-baritone)
The Chorus of the Vienna State Opera
Vienna Philharmonic
Karl Böhm.
AO3Massenet - Cendrillon20141204Massenet: Cendrillon
Joyce DiDonato dons Cinderella's glass slippers and Alice Coote pulls on Prince Charming's trousers in Massenet's fairy-tale opera. Together with an all-star cast in this acclaimed production recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, they shall go to the ball! Presented by Penny Gore.
Cendrillon - Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)
La Fée - Eglise Gutiérrez (soprano)
Le Prince Charmant - Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano)
Madame de la Haltière - Ewa Podles (mezzo-soprano)
Pandolfe - Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone)
Noémie - Madeleine Pierard (soprano)
Dorothée - Kai Rüütel (mezzo-soprano)
Roi - Jeremy White (bass)
Doyen de la Faculté - Harry Nicoll (tenor)
Surintendant des Plaisirs - Dawid Kimberg (baritone)
Premier Ministre - John-Owen Miley-Read
Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
Bertrand de Billy (conductor).
AO3Strauss 150: Der Liebe Der Danae (acts 1 And 2)20141211Strauss 150
In celebration of 150 years since Richard Strauss's today's Thursday Opera Matinee is Der Liebe der Danae, in a performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Opera Chorus conducted by Charles Mackerras in 1980. The cast includes Arlene Saunders, Norman Bailey and Rosalind Plowright. Act 3 can be heard tomorrow. Plus music from this week's featured BBC artists: the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers.
Presented by Katie Derham
Richard Strauss: Der Liebe der Danae.
Danae....Arlene Saunders (Soprano)
Jupiter....Norman Bailey (Baritone)
Midas, King of Lydia....Kenneth Woollam (Tenor)
Pollux, King of Eos....John Dobson (Tenor)
Xanthe, Servant to Danae....Rosalind Plowright (Soprano)
Mercury....Emile Belcourt (Tenor)
4 Queens: Semele....Elizabeth Gale (Soprano)
Europa....Alison Hargen (Soprano)
Alkmene....Patricia Price (Mezzo-Soprano)
Leda....Linda Finnie (Alto)
4 Kings....Bernard Dickerson, Stuart Kale, Alan Watt, Geoffrey Moses
BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Opera Chorus
Sir Charles Mackerras
Damase Concertino
Ashley Wass (piano),
BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Martin Yates
Frédéric d'Erlanger Midnight Rose
BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Johannes Wildner
Rautavaara Magnificat
BBC Singers, conductor Justin Doyle.
AO3Bizet - The Pearl Fishers20150115BizetThe Pearl Fishers
The Pearl Fishers is a compelling tale of a friendship tested as Zurga and Nadir set eyes on a consecrated virgin arriving on a canoe. Leila sings her oath of chastity and Zurga, as the fishermen's leader, promises her the most beautiful pearl if she keeps her oath - and death if she does not. But will the two be able to resist her charms?
Leila....Diana Damrau (soprano)
Nadir....Dmitry Korchak (tenor)
Zurga....Nathan Gunn (baritone)
Nourabad..Nicolas Teste (bass)
Arnold Schoenberg Chorus
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Jean-Christophe Spinosi (conductor)
Recorded at the Theater an der Wien in November 2014
c. 3.50pm
BeethovenPiano Concerto no 4
Garrick Ohlsson (piano),
Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst (conductor).
AO3Berg - Wozzeck20150122IKatie Derham presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee: Berg's Wozzeck performed by this week's featured orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles at City Halls Glasgow. The hapless soldier Wozzeck has an illegitimate child with Marie. When he discovers her affair with the handsome Drum Major, it's too much for him to bear, and he stabs her before drowning himself. Thomas Mayer sings the tortured Wozzeck, and Elena Zhidkova his doomed lover. Plus a performance of Tchaikovsky's fate-ridden Symphony no.4 conducted by Michal Dworzynski.
Berg Wozzeck - opera in 3 acts Op.7
Wozzeck...Thomas Mayer (baritone)
Marie...Elena Zhidkova (contralto)
Drum Major..Thomas Blondelle (tenor)
Captain...Tom Randle (tenor)
Doctor...Nathan Berg (baritone)
Andres...Michael Pflumm (tenor)
1st Apprentice...Andrew Greenan (bass)
2nd Apprentice...James Cleverton
Idiot...Peter Van Hulle (tenor)
Margret...Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano)
A Soldier...Christopher Bowen (tenor)
Christopher White (piano)
BBC Singers
St Mary's Cathedral Edinburgh Choir
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Donald Runnicles (conductor)
Tchaikovsky Symphony no.4 (Op.36) in F minor
Michal Dworzynski (conductor).
AO3Vivaldi - Ottone In Villa20150129Penny Gore presents today's Opera Matinee: Vivaldi's Ottone in Villa, recorded at the Teater Republique, Copenhagen last September.
It was Vivaldi's first opera, premiered in 1713. The Roman Emperor Ottone is in love with Cleonilla, who can't resist flirting with two young Romans, Ostilio and Caio. There are characters in disguise, jealous love rivals, assasination plots, and eventually, reconciliation.
Ottone in Villa, Act 1
Ottone in Villa, Acts 2 and 3
Cleonilla....Sine Bundgaard (soprano)
Ottone....Sonia Prina (contralto)
Caio Silio....Sophie Junker (soprano)
Decio....Leif Aruhn-Solén (tenor)
Tullia....Deborah York (soprano)
Concerto Copenhagen
Conductor Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
AO3Janacek - The Makropulos Case20150205The Swedish soprano Gitta-Maria Sjoberg sings the role of Emily Marty in a production of Janacek's The Makropulos Case from Brno Opera, with the tenor Ales Briscein as Albert Gregor and the bass-baritone Frantisek Duriac as Dr Kolenaty. Plus Saarijaho's Laterna Magica performed by Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Edward Gardner.
Presented by Katie Derham.
The Makropulos Case, opera in 3 acts
Emilia Marty....Gitta-Maria Sjoberg (soprano)
Albert Gregor....Ales Briscein (tenor)
Dr Kolenaty....Frantisek Duriac (bass-baritone)
Vitek....Petr Levicek (tenor)
Kristina....Eva Sterbova (soprano)
Baron Jaroslav Prus....Svatopluk Sem (baritone)
Janek....Peter Racko (tenor)
Count Hauk-Sendorf...Josef Skrobanek (tenor)
Stage Technician....Jiri Klecker (baritone)
Cleaning Woman....Jitka Zerhauova (contralto)
Maid....Jana Wallingerova (contralto)
Brno Opera Chorus
Brno Opera Orchestra
Marko Ivanovic (conductor)
Laterna Magica
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner (conductor).
AO3Cagnoni - Don Bucefalo20150212Verity Sharp presents today's opera matinee: Don Bucefalo, a comic opera by Antonio Cagnoni (1828 - 1896) in a performance from the Wexford Festival about a singing teacher who attempts to compose and stage an opera complete with artistic rivalry, marital jealousy and the return of a long-lost husband. Plus the BBC National Orchestra of Wales perform Hoddinott's Euphonium Concerto with the extraordinarily virtuosic David Childs as soloist.
Cagnoni: Don Bucefalo (melodramma giocoso in three acts)
Don Bucefalo - Filippo Fontana (tenor)
Rosa, Carlino's wife - Marie-Eve Munger (soprano)
Agata, a peasant woman - Jennifer Davis (mezzo-soprano)
Gianetta, a peasant woman - Kezia Bienek (soprano)
Don Marco Bomba, the elderly local squire - Davide Bartolucci (bass)
Count Belprato, Rosa's lover - Matthew Newlin (tenor)
Carlino, a soldier - Peter Davoren (tenor)
Wexford Festival Opera Chorus
Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra
Sergio Alapont (conductor)
Hoddinott Concerto for euphonium and orchestra
David Childs (euphonium)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Bramwell Tovey (conductor).
AO3Berlioz's Romeo Et Juliette And Bellini's I Capuleti E I Montecchi20150219Not long after Valentine's Day, Penny Gore introduces the story of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet as seen through the eyes of Berlioz and Bellini. The performance of Bellini's opera is headed by mezzo-soprano, Elina Garanca and soprano, Ekaterina Siurina in a performance from Geneva Grand Theatre.
Romeo et Juliette (excerpt from Part 2)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (conductor)
I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Romeo... Elina Garanca (mezzo-soprano)
Juliet...Ekaterina Siurina (soprano)
Tebaldo...Yosep Kang (tenor)
Capellio...Matthias Hausmann (bass)
Lorenzo...Nahuel Di Pierro (bass)
Geneva Grand Théâtre Chorus
German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Saarbrücken
Karl Mark Chichon (conductor)
Act 2.
AO3Rossini - L'inganno Felice20150226Katie Derham presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee; a recording of Rossini's one act opera, L'Inganno felice from La Fenice. Isabella, happily married to Duke Bertrando rejects the advances of the villainous Ormondo. In revenge, he spreads rumours about her reputation, and bribes Batone into casting her adrift in a boat on the sea. She's rescued by a local miner who disguises her as his niece, Nisa. Ten years pass before Duke Bertando visits the mines, and she has a chance to win her husband back.
Then it's live to MediaCity in Salford where Ian Skelly introduces a live performance by the BBC Philharmonic under John Storgards as part of Afternoon on 3's Nordic and Baltic season. They perform Sibelius' Rakastava, before a live contribution to this week's complete Nielsen symphony cycle - No 5.
L'Inganno felice (The Fortunate Deception)
Isabella... Marina Bucciarelli (soprano)
Duca Bertrando... Giorgio Misseri (tenor)
Batone...Filippo Fontana (bass)
Tarabotto... Omar Montanari (bass)
Ormondo... Marco Filippo Romano (bass)
Teatro La Fenice Chorus
Teatro La Fenice Orchestra
Stefano Montanari (conductor)
Live from MediaCity, Salford, presented by Ian Skelly
Rakastava, Op.14
Nielsen Symphony No 5, Op.50
BBC Philharmonic
John Storgards (conductor).
AO3Massenet - Cleopatre20150305Opera matinee - Massenet: Cléopâtre, opera in four acts
Penny Gore presents a rare performance of Massenet's lyrical swansong. The story of the ill-fated elicit love of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and the Roman Marc-Anthony is the stuff of cinema and operatic legend. We don't get Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton here but we do get to hear some of the most ravishingly exotic music that Massenet, a master of the theatre, ever wrote. In a world miles away from his Manon and Werther, Massenet here conjures up the the contrasting atmospheres of the Egyptian and Roman courts; the Egyptian court of Cleopatra is one of languor and sensuality whilst the Roman world of Mark Anthony is one of marches and fanfares. This 'drame passionnel' is brought to life here by Sophie Koch and Frédéric Goncalves on the stage of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris.
Presented by Penny Gore
Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Librettist: Louis Payen
Cléopâtre, opera in four acts
Cléopâtre....Sophie Koch (mezzo-soprano), Cléopâtre
Marc-Antoine....Frédéric Goncalves (baritone),
Octavie....Cassandre Berthon (soprano),
Spakos....Benjamin Bernheim (tenor),
Sévérus, Amnhès, a Voice....Jean-Gabriel Saint Martin (baritone),
Charmion....Olivia Doray (soprano),
Ennius....Pierre-Yves Binard (baritone),
L'Esclave de la Porte....Yuri Kissin (baritone)
Paris Opera Chorus, Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra
Michel Plasson (conductor)
rec. November 2014 at The Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris
followed at approx 3.40pm by
Dvorak Symphony No. 9 'New World'
BBC Philharmonic, Nicholas Collon (conductor).
AO3Mussorgsky - Khovanshchina20150312Katie Derham presents our Thursday Opera Matinee: Musorgsky's Khovanshchina in a performance from Vienna State Opera conducted by Semyon Bychkov. Khovanshchina is set during the Moscow Uprising of 1682, and deals with the struggle between the progressive and reactionary political factions of the time. Left unfinished at his death, several eminent Russian composers completed the score, the most commonly performed being this orchestration by Shostakovich. Then more from this week's featured orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with music by Delius.
Presented by Katie Derham
Musorgsky Khovanshchina
Acts 1-3
Prince Ivan Khovansky... Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass)
Prince Andrey Khovansky... Christopher Ventris (tenor)
Prince Vasiliy Golitsin... Herbert Lippert (tenor)
Dosifey... Ain Anger (bass)
Boyar Fyodor Shaklovity... Andrzej Dobber (bass-baritone)
Marfa... Elena Maximova (mezzo-soprano)
Susanna... Lydia Rathkolb (soprano)
Scrivener... Norbert Ernst (tenor)
Emma...Caroline Wenborne (soprano)
Golitsin's Confidant... Benedikt Kobel (baritone)
Varsonofyev... Marcus Pelz (bass)
Kuzka...Marian Talaba (tenor)
Streshnev...Wolfram Igor Derntl (tenor)
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Semyon Bychkov (conductor)
(Acts 4 and 5 continue tomorrow at 2pm)
Delius A Village Romeo and Juliet: The walk to the paradise garden
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Richard Farnes (conductor).
AO3Mozart - La Clemenza Di Tito20150319Katie Derham presents a performance of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito recorded at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris last December, featuring tenor Kurt Streit as Tito, Kate Linsdey as Sesto and soprano Karina Gauvin as Vitellia, with Le Cercle de l'Harmonie conducted by Jérémie Rhorer.
Presented by Katie Derham.
MOZART: La Clemenza di Tito, K. 621
Tito....Kurt Streit (tenor)
Vitellia....Karina Gauvin (soprano)
Sesto....Kate Lindsey (soprano)
Annio....Julie Boulianne (soprano)
Servilia...Julie Fuchs (soprano)
Publio....Robert Gleadow (bass)
Aedes Chorus
Le Cercle de l'Harmonie
Jérémie Rhorer (conductor)
Act 2
Recorded at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, in December 2014
Short Ride in a Fast Machine
SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart
Stéphane Denève (conductor).
AO3Rimsky-korsakov - The Tsar's Bride20150326Penny Gore presents this week's opera matinee, Rimsky-Korsakov's thrilling 4-act melodrama The Tsar's Bride, recorded live at La Scala last March.
The libretto, by Ilyaa Tyumenev, is a complex, psychological drama, steeped in history and driven by one of the same characters that inspired Eisenstein: Tsar Ivan IV, "Ivan the Terrible." It's 1571 and the Tsar is looking for his third bride. He's assembled some 2000 girls for inspection, but the one he's taken with is Marfa. However, she is already promised in marriage to her childhood sweetheart Ivan and, as if the situation isn't complicated enough, Marfa is also loved by another powerful man, Grigory - one of the Tsar's secret police. It's a love-triangle which has all the makings of catastrophe.
Rimsky-Korsakov brings the story to life with spectacular music, including lively melodies evoking Russian folklore which lighten the mood.
Daniel Barenboim conducts the company premiere of this opera, staged and directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov, and with Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden. The cast includes soprano Olga Peretyatko as Marfa, baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle as the ruthless oprichnik Griaznoy and mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya as Marfa's tragic rival, Lyubasha.
Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tsar's Bride
Marfa.... Olga Peretyatko (soprano)
Dunyasha.... Anna Lapkovskaya (mezzo-soprano)
Grigoriy Lukyanovich Malyuta Skuratov.... Tobias Schabel (bass)
Lyubasha.... Marina Prudenskaya (mezzo-soprano)
Vasiliy Stepanovich Sobakin.... Anatoly Kotscherga (bass)
Ivan Sergeyevich Loykov.... Pavel Cernoch (tenor)
Petrovna.... Carola Hohn (mezzo-soprano)
Domna Ivanovna Saburova.... Anna Tomowa-Sintow (soprano)
Grigoriy Grigorevich Gryaznoy.... Johannes Martin Kranzle (baritone)
Yelisey Bomelius.... Stephan Rugamer (tenor)
The Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala
Daniel Barenboim.
AO3Janacek - The Cunning Little Vixen20150402In telling the story of the Vixen and her forest companions and that of the Forester's life in the village, Janacek evokes two worlds that intersect, musing through this enchanting fable on man and nature, the passing of time, and the natural life-cycle.
Recorded at the Vienna Staatsoper last June. Presented by Jonathan Swain.
JANACEK The Cunning Little Vixen
Forester - Gerald Finley (baritone)
Vixen (Sharp-Ears) - Chen Reiss, (soprano)
Harašta - Wolfgang Bankl (bass)
Schoolmaster/Mosquito - James Kryshak (tenor)
Forester's Wife/Owl - Donna Ellen (contralto)
Priest/Badger - Andreas Hörl (bass)
Pásek - Wolfram Igor Derntl (tenor)
Fox - Hyuna Ko (soprano)
Young Vixen - Isolde Zerweck (child soprano)
Frantík - Bernhard Sengstschmid (treble)
Pepík - Jan Sebastian Höhener (treble)
Pásek's Wife - Sabine Kogler (soprano)
Chocholka - Lydia Rathkolb (soprano)
Rooster - Heinz Zednik (tenor)
Woodpecker/Lapak the Dog - Ilseyar Khayrullova (contralto)
Cricket - Johanna Laslop, (child soprano)
Frog - Mina Todorowski, (child soprano)
Grasshopper - Isabella Orasch (child soprano)
Jay - Maria Gusenleitner (soprano)
Midge - Lea Dluhos (child soprano)
Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Franz Welser-Möst (conductor)
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony no. 10 in E minor, Op.93
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Donald Runnicles (conductor).
AO3Gluck: Iphigenie En Tauride20150409The Thursday opera is Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris - his fifth opera for the French stage. With this opera, Gluck took his operatic reform to a new level, using a drama based on the play by the ancient Greek dramatist Euripides about the family of Agamemnon in the aftermath of the Trojan War. This performance stars the soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci conducted by Hartmut Haenchen
Presented by Verity Sharp
Iphigenia in Tauris
Iphigénie (Iphigenia), Priestess of Diana....Anna Caterina Antonacci (soprano)
Oreste (Orestes), her brother....Bruno Taddia (baritone)
Pylade (Pylades), his friend....Steve Davislim (tenor)
Thoas, King of Scythia....Alexei Tikhomirov (bass)
Diane (Diana)....Julienne Walker (soprano)
A Scythian Man....Michel de Souza (baritone)
First Priestess....Mi Young Kim (soprano)
Second Priestess....Marianne Dellacasagrande (soprano)
A Greek Woman....Cristiana Presutti (soprano)
A Minister....Wolfgang Barta (bass)
Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus (chorus master Alan Woodbridge)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Hartmut Haenchen
Acts 1-2:
ActS 3-4:
Richard Strauss
Oboe Concerto in D
Alexei Ogrintchouk, oboe
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Andris Nelsons.
AO3Bellini - La Straniera20150416Bellini La Straniera
A rare chance to hear one of Bellini's first great operatic successes. Premiered at La Scala, Milan in 1829, La Straniera (The Stranger) is a romantic melodrama set in Brittany around the year 1200. Alaide, a mysterious woman roams the countryside. Nobody suspects that this stranger is in fact Agnes, the exiled wife of the King of France. Arturo, a local count falls in love with the stranger - even though he's supposed to be engaged to Isoletta. Valdeburgo (Alaide's brother) visits her and implores Arturo to leave his sister in peace and to marry his fiancee, Isoletta. One of opera's more complicated marriage scenes ensues, culminating in the stranger, Alaide's true identity being revealed and Artuo falling on his sword and dying, to the consternation of Isoletta. Alaide/Agnes, the true Queen of France is left lamenting her ill fortune.
Alaide, the stranger....Marlis Petersen (soprano),
Arturo, Count of Ravenstel....Norman Reinhardt (tenor),
Valdeburgo, Baron, secret brother of Alaide....Franco Vassalo (baritone),
Isoletta, fiancée of Arturo....Theresa Krollthaler (mezzo-soprano),
Osburgo, confidant of Arturo....Vladimir Dmitruk (tenor),
Il signore di Montolino, father of Isoletta....Martin Snell (bass)
Il Priore degli Spedalieri....Stefan Cerny (bass),
Arnold Schoenberg Chorus
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Paolo Arrivabeni (conductor)
Recorded live at Theater an der Wien, Vienna on 24 Jan 2015.
AO3Purcell - The Fairy Queen20150423Katie Derham presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee, Purcell's The Fairy Queen. Described as a semi-opera, the Fairy Queen was based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and premiered at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1692. Unlike what we now think of as opera, this was an opulant mixture of spoken dialogue, incidental music and masques. In this performance from Graz recorded last year, Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts a top cast including Dorothea Roschmann, and Florian Boesch. Plus more from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales: Composer in Association B Tommy Andersson's tribute to Wagner called Death in Venice.
Purcell: The Fairy Queen
Dorothea Roschmann (soprano)
Martina Jankova (soprano)
Elisabeth von Magnus (mezzo-soprano)
Terry Wey (countertenor)
Joshua Ellicot (tenor)
Florian Boesch (bass)
Arnold Schoenberg Chorus
Concentus Musicus Vienna
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor)
Andersson: Death in Venice
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thomas Sondergard (conductor).
AO3Verdi - Luisa Miller20150430In this afternoon's opera matinee, Penny Gore presents Verdi's Luisa Miller, a romantic opera full of passion and intrigue. It is the story of Luisa and Rodolfo's love, which is challenged by their families' different social standings and ultimately ends in tragedy. This afternoon's performance was recorded in November at the State Opera in Hamburg. It was directed by Andreas Homoki and the Hamburg State Opera is conducted by Simone Young. The Georgian coloratura soprano Nino Michaidze takes the title role and Rodolfo is sung by the Italian-born tenor Ivan Magri.
Presented by Penny Gore.
Luisa Miller, opera in three acts
Miller, a retired soldier.... George Petean (baritone)
Luisa, his daughter.... Nino Michaidze (soprano)
Count Walter.... Tigran Martirossian (bass)
Rodolfo, his son.... Ivan Magri (tenor)
Federica, Duchess of Ostheim, Walter's Niece.... Christina Damian (contralto)
Wurm, Walter's steward.... Oliver Zwarg (bass)
Laura, a village girl.... Ida Aldrian (mezzo-soprano)
A Peasant.... Daniel Todd (tenor)
Hamburg State Opera Chorus
Hamburg State Opera Orchestra
Simone Young (conductor)
Recorded on 16 November 2014 at the State Opera, Hamburg.
AO3Paisiello - The Barber Of Seville20150507Katie Derham presents The Barber of Seville - not in the famous setting by Rossini, but in a lesser known version by Paisiello, who wrote his opera a generation before Rossini. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under René Jacobs brush the dust off this rarely performed sparkling comedy, recorded in March at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, during this year's KlaraFestival.
Giovanni Paisiello
Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Topi Lehtipuu, tenor, Il Conte d'Almaviva
Mari Eriksmoen, soprano, Rosina
Pietro Spagnoli, baritone, Bartolo
Andrè Schuen, baritone, Figaro
Fulvio Bettini, baritone, Don Basilio
Christoph Seidl, bass, Lo Svegliato / Un Notario
Erik Arman, tenor, Il Giovinetto / Un Alcalde
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
René Jacobs
Act 1
Act 2.
AO3Smetana - Dalibor20150514Jonathan Swain presents a performance of Smetana's tragic opera Dalibor, performed earlier this month at the Barbican by a Czech cast and the BBC Singers and Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jirí Belohlávek. The Czech knight Dalibor is imprisoned for having avenged the death of his friend Zdenek. With strong echos of Beethoven's Fidelio, Milada falls in love with Dalibor and disguises herself as a boy in order to befriend his jailor and rescue him.
Smetana Dalibor
Dalibor - Richard Samek (tenor)
Vladislav - Ivan Kusnjer (baritone)
Vitek - Aleš Vorácek (tenor)
Milada - Dana Burešova (soprano)
Jitka - Alžbeta Polácková (soprano)
Budivoj - Svatopluk Sem (baritone)
Beneš - Jan Stava (bass)
BBC Singers
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jirí Belohlávek (conductor).
AO3Beethoven - Fidelio20150521In today's Thursday Opera Matinee, Katie Derham presents a concert performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, given by the BBC Philharmonic at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester earlier this month. Florestan is trapped in a dungeon, imprisioned by Pizzaro whose crimes he tried to expose. His wife Leonore decides to disguise herself as a boy in order to get work in the prison and somehow rescue him. Stuart Skelton sings Florestan, and Rebecca von Lipinski his wife and saviour.
Beethoven Fidelio
Florestan, a prisoner....Stuart Skelton (tenor)
Leonore, his wife....Rebecca von Lipinski (soprano)
Rocco, gaoler....Stephen Richardson (bass)
Marzelline, his daughter....Lucy Hall (soprano)
Jaquino, assistant to Rocco....Benjamin Hulett (tenor)
Don Pizarro, governor of prison....Detlef Roth (bass-baritone)
Don Fernando.King's minister....Andrew Greenan (baritone)
First Prisoner....Tim Ochala-Greenough (tenor)
Second Prisoner....Edward Price (bass)
London Symphony Chorus
BBC Philharmonic
Juanjo Mena (conductor)
Followed at approx. 3.50pm by
Beethoven Symphony No 5 in C minor
BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda (conductor).
AO3Donizetti - Don Pasquale20150528Penny Gore presents a sparkling performance of Donizetti's witty comedy recorded in April this year at the Vienna State Opera, starring the tenor Juan Diego Florez in one of his signature roles as Ernesto, the buffo bass Michele Pertusi in the title role, and 2011 Cardiff Singer winner Valentina Nafornita as Norina.
The old, wealthy, but miserly bachelor Don Pasquale wants to marry off his nephew Ernesto to a wealthy woman, but Ernesto prefers a love match with the young, penniless widow Norina. Pasquale disinherits him and decides to take a young wife of his own, to the advice of his friend and doctor, Malatesta. But the young couple run rings around him, and the moral of the story is: don't marry in old age.
Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Don Pasquale - Michele Pertusi (bass)
Ernesto - Juan Diego Florez (tenor)
Norina - Valentina Nafornita (soprano)
Dr Malatesta - Alessio Arduini (baritone)
Carlino - Wolfram Igor Derntl (bass)
Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Conductor Jesús López-Cobos
Plus more from the 2014 Prague Spring Festival.
AO3Nielsen - Saul Og David20150604Nielsen 150.
Katie Derham presents the first of our opera broadcasts marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Danish composer Carl Nielsen - a performance from Danish Royal Opera of his first opera, Saul and David, telling the Biblical story of Saul's jealousy of the young David, who has won the favour of the people by defeating the giant, Goliath. Celebrated Nielsen interpreter Michael Schønwandt conducts, with Johan Reuter in the dramatic title role as King Saul and Ann Petersen as David's beloved Michal. His other opera, Maskerade, will be broadcast later this month.
Nielsen: Saul og David
Johan Reuter, bass-baritone, Saul
Michael Kristensen, tenor, Jonathan
Ann Petersen, soprano, Michal
Niels Jørgen Riis, tenor, David
Morten Staugaard, bass, Samuel
Leif Jone Ølberg, bass-baritone, Abner
Susanne Resmark, contralto, Witch of Eldor
Danish Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Michael Schønwandt, conductor.
AO3Hasse - Leucippo20150611Penny Gore presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee - Hasse: Leucippo, in a rare performance from the 2014 Schwetzingen Festival, with Concerto Köln and conductor Konrad Junghänel. Hasse was a star composer in his day, sought after by royalty, and working with the best singers and librettists. The opera, with a libretto by Giovanni Claudio Pasquini, is a story of love and duty, as the ill-fated hero Leucippo falls for the unattainable Priestess Dafne, who has taken a vow of chastity.
Hasse: Leucippo
Vasily Khoroshev, countertenor, Leucippo
Francisco Fernández-Rueda, tenor, Narete
Franziska Gottwald, soprano, Dafne
Netto Or, soprano, Climene
Claudia Rohrbach, soprano, Delio
Holger Falk, bass, Nunte
Baroque Vocal Mainz
Concerto Köln
Conductor Konrad Junghänel.
AO3Rufus Wainwright - Prima Donna20150618For the Classical Voice season on Radio 3, today's Thursday Opera Matinee is Prima Donna by the singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, who first developed an interest in opera as a teenager. It centres on a day in the life of an ageing opera singer who is anxiously preparing for her comeback in 1970s Paris. Once a soprano with a powerhouse voice and a reputation to match, she's been discarded - disdained by critics and forgotten by audiences. But the diva is determined to prove her doubters wrong: all she asks is a chance to reprise the role that made her reputation all those years ago. Presented by Verity Sharp.
Rufus Wainwright: Prima Donna
Régine St Laurent - Janis Kelly (soprano)
Marie - Kathryn Guthrie (soprano)
Philippe - Richard Morrison (baritone)
André Le Tourner - Antonio Figueroa (tenor)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jayce Ogren (conductor).
AO3Nielsen 150 - Maskarade20150625Nielsen 150 Opera Matinee: Penny Gore presents Nielsen's opera Maskarade with a Danish cast and Michael Schønwandt conducting the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir. First performed at the Royal Danish Opera in 1906, Nielsen's vivid comedy based on a play by Ludvig Holberg has become popularly known as Denmark's national opera ever since.
The plot centres on a young couple, Leander and Leonora, who fall in love at a masquerade ball. Leander, rather inconveniently, is already betrothed to someone else.
Nielsen: Maskarade
Johan Reuter (bass)
Stephen Milling (bass)
Niels Jørgen Riis (tenor)
Dénise Beck (soprano)
Anne Margrethe Dahl (soprano)
Ditte Højgaard Andersen (soprano)
Christian Damsgaard-Madsen (tenor)
Simon Duus (bass)
Guido Paevatalu (baritone)
Stig Fogh Andersen (tenor)
Kristian Boland (baritone)
Steffen Bruun (bass)
Danish National Concert Choir
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Michael Schønwandt (conductor).
AO3Cherubini - Medea20150702Katie Derham presents today's Opera Matinee - Cherubini's Medea, recorded in April at the Grand Theatre, Geneva. With Alexandra Deshorties in the title role, Andrea Carè as Jason and Sara Mingardo as Neris. Based on the classic Greek tragedy by Euripides, Medea has been abandoned by her husband Jason after helping him to steal the golden fleece, and he has taken their two sons with him. As Jason plans to re-marry Glauce, Medea seeks vengeance.
Cherubini: Medea
Jason, leader of the Argonauts - Andrea Carè (tenor)
Medea -.Alexandra Deshorties (mezzo-soprano)
Glauce - Grazia Doronzio (soprano)
Neris - Sara Mingardo (contralto)
Creon - Daniel Okulitch (bass-baritone)
Captain of the guard....Alexander Milev (bass)
Stylist - Johanna Rudström (mezzo-soprano)
Stylist's assistant - Magdalena Risberg (soprano)
Grand Théâtre Chorus
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Conductor Marko Letonja.
AO3Nielsen 150: Saul And David20150716Nielsen 150.
Penny Gore presents an opera broadcast marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Danish composer Carl Nielsen - a performance from Danish Royal Opera of his first opera, Saul and David, telling the Biblical story of Saul's jealousy of the young David, who has won the favour of the people by defeating the giant, Goliath. Celebrated Nielsen interpreter Michael Schønwandt conducts, with Johan Reuter in the dramatic title role as King Saul and Ann Petersen as David's beloved Michal.
Saul and David
Johan Reuter, bass-baritone, Saul
Michael Kristensen, tenor, Jonathan
Ann Petersen, soprano, Michal
Niels Jørgen Riis, tenor, David
Morten Staugaard, bass, Samuel
Leif Jone Ølberg, bass-baritone, Abner
Susanne Resmark, contralto, Witch of Eldor
Danish Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Michael Schønwandt, conductor Nielsen
Acts 1 and 2
Acts 3 and 4.
AO3Tchaikovsky - Iolanta20150917Penny Gore presents Tchaikovsky's one-act opera Iolanta, which was performed by Lyon Opera at the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix-en-Provence as part of this Summer's Aix-en-Provence Festival, starring Ekaterina Sherbachenko in the title role.
Iolanta, Tchaikovsky's final opera, is a fairy tale about the young, blind daughter of the King of Provence who is secluded from the world and even the truth about her blindness. It is based on the Danish play Kong Renés Datter (King René's Daughter) by Henrik Hertz.
Tchaikovsky: Iolanta
Iolanta - Ekaterina Sherbachenko (soprano)
René - Dmitry Ulianov (bass)
Robert - Maxim Aniskin (baritone)
Vaudémont - Arnold Rutkowski (tenor)
Ibn-Hakia - Willard White (bass-baritone)
Alméric - Vasily Efimov (tenor)
Bertrand - Pavel Kudinov (bass)
Marta - Diana Montague (contralto)
Brigitta - Maria Bochmanova (soprano)
Laura - Karina Demurova (mezzo-soprano)
Lyon Opera Chorus
Lyon Opera Orchestra
Teodor Currentzis (conductor)
Recorded at Grand Théâtre de Provence, Aix-en-Provence on 11 July 2015 as part of the Aix-en-Provence Festival
Plus more recent recordings made by the BBC Philharmonic, including Williamson's Sinfonietta as part of the Southern Hemisphere Season on Afternoon on 3.
Dutilleux: Sur le même accord
Olivier Charlier (violin)
BBC Philharmonic
Yan Pascal Tortelier (conductor)
Ravel: Tzigane
Williamson: Sinfonietta
Tecwyn Evans (conductor).
AO3Stravinsky - Persephone20150924Ian Skelly presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee - Stravinsky's melodrama Persephone in a performance from the Aix-en-Provence Festival. The story of the Greek goddess is told through a speaker, a tenor, chorus and dancers. Then to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and a concert it gave in Glasgow City Halls in October. Leonard Elschenbroich is soloist in Nino Rota's Cello Concerto, and the Orchestra take centre stage in Sibelius's 5th Symphony.
Stravinsky: Perséphone
Perséphone... Dominique Blanc (actor)
Eumolpe.... Paul Groves (tenor)
Chorus and Orchestra of Opéra National de Lyon
Teodor Currentzis (conductor)
Peteris Vasks: Credo
Rota: Cello Concerto No 2
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E flat major Op.82
Leonard Elschenbroich (cello)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ainars Rubikis (conductor).
AO3Lalo - La Jacquerie20151001Katie Derham presents Lalo's opera La Jacquerie, recorded at the Montpellier Festival in July, starring Véronique Gens and Charles Castronovo.
Set in late-medieval France, the young Robert falls in love with Blanche, daughter of the local lord, while a bloody peasant revolt takes place. He places himself as protector between her father and the disenfranchised people, but he is pursued and attacked by the crowd.
Lalo's admiration for Wagner is clear in this concise 4-act drama. He left it unfinished but it was completed by his collaborator Arthur Coquard.
Lalo: La Jaquerie
Blanche de Sainte-Croix - Véronique Gens (soprano)
Jeanne - Nora Gubisch (mezzo-soprano)
Robert - Charles Castronovo (tenor)
Guillaume - Boris Pinkhasovich (baritone)
Le Comte de Sainte-Croix - Jean-Sébastien Bou (baritone)
Le Sénéchal - Patrick Bolleire (bass)
Le Baron de Savigny - Enguerrand de Hys (tenor)
Radio France Chorus
Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Patrick Davin.
AO3Rossini - La Gazzetta20151008Penny Gore presents this week's Opera Matinee: Rossini's 'La Gazzetta', which satirizes the influence of newspapers on people's lives, recorded at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in August. The pompous Don Pomponio Storione travels the world in search of a husband for his daughter, putting ads in the newspapers, but learns that this might not be the route to his daughter's happiness. Rossini's second opera written for Naples was the only comedy he wrote there, but there are conflicting reports on whether or not it was well received.
Rossini: La Gazzetta
Madama la Rose - José Maria Lo Monaco (mezzo-soprano)
Doralice - Raffaella Lupinacci (soprano)
Lisetta - Hasmik Torosyan (soprano)
Don Pomponio Storione - Nicola Alaimo (bass)
Monsù Traversen - Andrea Vincenzo Bonsignore (bass)
Alberto - Maxim Mironov (tenor)
Filippo - Vito Priante (baritone)
Anselmo - Dario Shikhmiri (bass)
Andrea Faidutti (chorus director)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna
Enrique Mazzola (conductor)
Recorded 11/08/2015
Pesaro - Rossini Theatre.
AO3Berlioz - The Damnation Of Faust20151015Presented by Verity Sharp.
Part opera, part cantata, Berlioz described his 'Damnation of Faust' as a 'Légende dramatique'. He based his version of the Faust legend on Goethe's epic poem, including dramatic orchestral colours and effects.
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in this performance with Joyce DiDonato, Charles Castronovo, and Ludovic Tezier, recorded in Berlin earlier this year.
Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust, Op.24
Marguerite - Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)
Méphistophélès - Ludovic Tézier (bass)
Faust - Charles Castronovo, (tenor)
Brander - Florian Boesch (bass)
Berlin Radio Chorus
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Simon Rattle.
AO3Purcell - King Arthur20151022Penny Gore introduces the Thursday opera matinee, a performance of Purcell's semi-opera King Arthur recorded at this year's Utrecht Early Music Festival. The story is not about Camelot but concerns the battles between King Arthur's Britons and the Saxons; and Arthur's attempts to get back his beloved, the blind Cornish Princess Emmeline, who has been taken off by his rival, King Oswald. The rest of the afternoon continues the week's theme of music from the Southern Hemisphere with a piece by the Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, who died last year. And the afternoon ends with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra playing works by Sibelius and Haydn
King Arthur, Part 1
Caroline Weynants, soprano (Philidel)
Tomás Král, bass (Aeolus, Grimbald)
Sophie Junker, soprano (Nereid, Cupid)
Sebastian Myrus, baritone (Cold Genius, Comus)
Lionel Meunier, bass (Pan)
Kristen Witmer, soprano (Comus, Venus, Honour)
Robert Buckland, tenor (Comus)
Olivier Berten, tenor (Comus)
Zsuzsi Tóth, soprano (Venus)
Vox Luminis
Ensemble La Fenice
Jean Tubéry (conductor)
King Arthur Part 2
Earth Cry
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Jessica Cottis (conductor)
James Ledger
Two Memorials
Eivind Aadland (conductor)
Trumpet Concerto
Alison Balsom (trumpet)
AO3Purcell - Dido And Aeneas20151029Penny Gore presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee; a performance of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas from the Utrecht Early Music Festival. Based on Virgil, the opera tells of the love between Dido and Aeneas which comes to a tragic end when a socrceress incites Aeneas to abandon Dido. Christina Pluhar directs L'Arpeggiata, and Mariana Flores and Marc Mauillon sing the doomed lovers. Plus more from this week's featured ensembles - the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers with music by Bliss and Vaughan Williams.
Dido and Aeneas
Dido....Mariana Flores (soprano)
Aeneas - Marc Mauillon (baritone)
Belinda - Céline Scheen (soprano)
Christina Pluhar (director)
Hymn to Apollo
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Davis (conductor)
Richard Blackford
Oboe Concerto
Emily Pailthrope (oboe)
Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Audi clamantes, audi plorantes (Church Songs)
BBC Singers
David Hill (conductor)
Vaughan Williams
Mass in G minor
Olivia Robinson (soprano)
Margaret Cameron (contralto)
Robert Johnston (tenor)
Stephen Charlesworth (baritone)
Richard Pearce (conductor).
AO3Massenet - Werther20151105Opera matinee: Massenet's Werther from this year's Salzburg Festival.
Jonathan Swain presents this starry concert performance given at the Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg
Piotr Beczala.... Werther
Angela Gheorghiu... Charlotte
Daniel Schmutzhard.... Albert
Chiara Skerath.... Sophie
Giorgio Surian.... Le Bailli
Martin Zysset.... Schmidt
Ruben Drole.... Johann
Salzburg Festival and Theatre Children's Chorus
Mozarteum Orchestra, Salzburg
Alejo Pérez (conductor).
AO3Milhaud - La Mere Coupable20151112Jonathan Swain presents Milhaud's La mere coupable, recorded in Vienna earlier this year at the Theater an der Wien, featuring Mireille Delunsch, Angelika Kirchschlager and Stefan Loges.
This rarely-performed opera by Milhaud is based on the final part of the Beaumarchais Figaro trilogy. While Mozart mines the class tensions with a comedic touch, Milhaud chooses to set Beaumarchais' more serious moral conclusion. In the intervening 20 years both the Count and Countess have had indiscretions resulting in illegitimate children, Leon and Florestine, both of whom are being brought up by the pair as their own. Figaro and Suzanne are still in their service, but their relationship is now in diffculties.
Milhaud: La mère coupable - opera in 3 acts
Count Almaviva - Markus Butter (baritone)
Countess Rosine - Mireille Delunsch (soprano)
Chevalier Léon - Andrew Owens (tenor)
Florestine - Frederikke Kampmann (soprano)
Figaro - Stephan Loges (baritone)
Suzanne - Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo-soprano)
Begaers - Aris Argiris (baritone)
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Leo Hussain (conductor)
Followed by more performances from the BBC Philharmonic.
Berlioz: Overture to Beatrice and Benedict
BBC Philharmonic
Nicholas Collon (conductor)
Poulenc: Concerto in D minor for two pianos and orchestra
Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier (pianos)
Edward Gardner (conductor).
AO3Donizetti - Roberto Devereux20151119Donizetti's third Tudor opera, Roberto Devereux, is a story of love and deceit, based on a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano (1801-1852). Devereux is the lover of Queen Elizabeth I but Parliament has pushed through a charge of treason against him. The Queen's attempts to save Devereux are frustrated by her suspicions that he loves another. Devereux and Sarah, the Duchess of Nottingham, have been seeing each other for some time, and upon discovery of this fact by both the Queen and the Duke of Nottingham, Devereux must meet an inevitable end. The Queen in turn, is forced to confront her old age and a lonely journey towards her own death, and in a fit of frustration and anger, announces her abdication in favour of Charles I.
Andrés Máspero's new production of Donizetti's rarely heard Roberto Devereux is headed by soprano Mariella Devia as Elizabeth, Queen of England, and tenor Gregory Kunde as Robert Devereux the Earl of Essex, with Marco Caria and Silvia Tro Santafé as the Duke and Duchess of Nottingham, Juan Antonio Sanabria as Lord William Cecil, and Andrea Mastroni as Sir Walter Raleigh, with the chorus and orchestra of Teatro Real, Madrid. The performance is conducted by Bruno Campanella.
Donizetti: Roberto Devereux
Elizabeth, Queen of England - Mariella Devia (soprano)
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex - Gregory Kunde (tenor)
Duke of Nottingham - Marco Caria (baritone)
Duchess of Nottingham - Silvia Tro Santafé (mezzo-soprano)
Lord William Cecil - Juan Antonio Sanabria (tenor)
Sir Walter Raleigh - Andrea Mastroni (bass)
A page - Sebastián Covarrubias (baritone)
A servant of Nottingham - Koba Sardalashvili (bass)
Chorus and orchestra of Teatro Real, Madrid
Bruno Campanella (conductor).
AO3Herold - Le Pre Aux Clercs20151126with Katie Derham. Today's opera matinee is a recording from the National Opera House in Wexford of Hérold's 1832 three-act opera, Le Pré aux Clercs. It was his final triumph - he died a few weeks later, aged 42 - and tells the story of three women and their love intrigues. It had over 1500 performances in Paris alone in the 19th century.
Ferdinand Hérold Le Pré aux clercs (The Clerks' Meadow)
Marguerite de Valois - Marie Lenormand (mezzo-soprano)
Isabelle Montbal - Marie-Eve Munger (soprano)
Nicette - Magali Simard Galdès (soprano)
Baron de Mergy.... Nico Darmanin (tenor)
Comte de Comminges - Dominique Coté (baritone)
Cantarelli - Eric Huchet (baritone)
Girot - Tomislav Lavoie (bass)
L'exempt du guet - Jan Capinski (bass)
Le Brigadier - Felix Kemp,
Archer 1 - David Howes
Archer 2 - Sheldon Baxter
Wexford Festival Chorus
Wexford Festival Orchestra
Jean-Luc Tingaud (conductor)
Braunfels: Symphonic Variations on a French Children's Song
BBC Concert Orchestra
Johannes Wildner (conductor).
AO3Marschner - Hans Heiling20151203Verity Sharp presents this week's opera matinee, Hans Heiling by Heinrich Marschner, recorded in Vienna earlier this year at the Theater an der Wien, featuring the soprano Angela Denoke and the baritone Michael Nagy.
Heiling is a supernatural creature from German folklore who sometimes takes a human form and is said to be able to put a village to sleep for a century, or turn an entire wedding-party to stone. Premiered in 1833, the music wears well the composer's influences of Weber and Spontini, and the lively libretto was written by Eduard Devrient who also sang the title-role in the premiere!
Marschner: Hans Heiling
Queen of the Erdgeister - Angela Denoke (soprano)
Hans Heiling, her son - Michael Nagy (baritone)
Anna, his bride - Katerina Tretyakova (soprano)
Gertrude, her mother - Stephanie Houtzeel (contralto)
Konrad, a hunter and Anna's sweetheart - Peter Sonn (tenor)
Stephan, a blacksmith - Christoph Seidl (bass)
Niklas, a tailor - Patrick Maria Kühn (tenor)
Arnold Schoenberg Chorus
ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna
Constantin Trinks (conductor).
AO3Sallinen - The King Goes Forth To France20151217As part of Northern Lights on Afternoon on 3, Verity Sharp presents The King Goes Forth to France, which is the third opera of Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen. The composer himself subtitled the opera a 'chronicle for the music theatre of the coming Ice Age' and it is a satirical musical allegory to a libretto written by Paavo Haavikko that follows the Prince as he decides to escape the advance of a new ice sheet across his land, England, and the urges of the Prime Minister for him to take a wife, instead crossing the Channel on a bridge of ice to resettle in France, where he is declared King. In France, he marries a German Princess who he immediately pawns together with his crown to fund his military campaigns in the resurgence of the Hundred Years' War and the Battle of Crécy and Siege of Calais. As Calais falls again, and spring returns, the King requests his chronicler to omit name from history, believing that he is nothing but a figment of Time.
Presented by Verity Sharp.
Aulis Sallinen
The King goes forth to France - opera in 3 acts
The Prince who later becomes the King... Tommi Hakala (baritone)
The Prime Minister who also appears as his own son, the Young Prime Minister... Jyrki Korhonen (bass
The Nice Caroline... Riikka Rantanen (soprano)
The Caroline with the Thick Mane... Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo-soprano)
The Anne who Steals... Mari Palo (high soprano)
The Anne who Strips... Laura Nykanen (contralto)
Guide... Jyrki Anttila (dramatic tenor)
English Archer... Herman Wallen (high baritone)
The Queen... Kirsi thum (soprano)
Six Burghers of Calais... Tuomas Katajala and Jussi Myllys (tenors), Arttu Kataja (baritone), Tuomas Tuloisela, Niklas Spangberg and Janne Sundqvist (basses)
Froissart... Santeri Kinnunen (spoken role)
Finnish Philharmonic Chorus
Tapiola Chamber Choir
Hanny Norjanen (chorus master)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Okku Kamu (conductor).
AO3Tchaikovsky - The Tsarina's Slippers20151224With Penny Gore.
A second chance to hear Tchaikovsky's rarely performed only comic opera, his Christmas story The Tsarina's Slippers (Cherevichki), which was produced at London's Royal Opera House in 2009.
Inspired by one of Nikolai Gogol's most famous short tales, Christmas Eve, the opera is a mix of village comedy and fairy-tale fantasy. The beautiful Oxana will only marry her besotted blacksmith Vakula if he finds the Tsarina's little leather slippers for her. The desperate Vakula finally uses the Devil to help him fulfil his beloved's wish. There is much devilry, mistaken identity, hiding of lovers and drunken villagers along the way. The music ranges from popular dances and Christmas carols to deeply moving lyrical scenes such as Vakula's despairing monologue in Act 3.
Tchaikovsky: The Tsarina's Slippers (Cherevichki)
Solokha (a witch)....Larissa Diadkova (mezzo-soprano)
The Devil....Maxim Mikhailov (bass)
Chub (an elderly Cossack)....Vladimir Matorin (bass)
Panas (Chub's friend)....John Upperton (tenor)
Oxana....Olga Guryakova (soprano)
Vakula....Vsevolod Grivnov (tenor)
Pan Golova (The Mayor)....Alexander Vassiliev (baritone)
The Schoolmaster....Vyacheslav Voynarovskiy (tenor)
Wood Goblin....Changhan Lim (baritone)
Echo....Andrew Macnair (tenor)
His Highness....Sergei Leiferkus (bass)
Master of Ceremonies....Jeremy White (bass)
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Alexander Polianichko (conductor).
AO3Rimsky-korsakov - Christmas Eve20151231Ian Skelly presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee: Rimsky Korsakov's Christmas Eve, performed by the State Symphony Capella of Russia. Based on a short story by Gogol, the opera tells of events happening in the Ukrainian hamlet of Dikanka on Christmas Eve. The widow Solokha helps the Devil steal the moon, and lots of people hide in sacks. Plus more from the BBC Performing Groups 'Best of 2015', with a performance of Vaughan Williams' overture The Wasps performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Thursday Opera Matinee:
Rimsky Korsakov Christmas Eve
Solokha... Lyudmila Kuznetsova (mezzo-soprano)
Vakula...Oleg Dolgov (tenor)
Devil....Maxim Sazhin (tenor)
Village Head...Sergei Toptygin (baritone)
Chub....Andrei Antonov (bass)
Oxana...Anna Pegova (soprano)
Deacon Osip Nikiforovich.... Leonid Bomstein (tenor)
Tsaritsa...Elena Evseeva (soprano)
Panas...Alexander Markeev (bass)
Patsyuk...Ruslan Rozyev (bass)
Woman with violet nose...Viktoria Smoinikova (soprano)
Woman with ordinary nose...Anastasia Proviznova (soprano)
State Symphony Capella of Russia Chorus
State Symphony Capella of Russia
Valery Polyansky (conductor)

Vaughan Williams Wasps Overture
BBC Concert Orchestra
Keith Lockhart (conductor).
AO3Rimsky-korsakov - Christmas Eve20151231Ian Skelly presents today's Thursday Opera Matinee: Rimsky Korsakov's Christmas Eve, performed by the State Symphony Capella of Russia. Based on a short story by Gogol, the opera tells of events happening in the Ukrainian hamlet of Dikanka on Christmas Eve. The widow Solokha helps the Devil steal the moon, and lots of people hide in sacks. Plus more from the BBC Performing Groups 'Best of 2015', with a performance of Vaughan Williams' overture The Wasps performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Thursday Opera Matinee:
Rimsky Korsakov Christmas Eve
Solokha... Lyudmila Kuznetsova (mezzo-soprano)
Vakula...Oleg Dolgov (tenor)
Devil....Maxim Sazhin (tenor)
Village Head...Sergei Toptygin (baritone)
Chub....Andrei Antonov (bass)
Oxana...Anna Pegova (soprano)
Deacon Osip Nikiforovich.... Leonid Bomstein (tenor)
Tsaritsa...Elena Evseeva (soprano)
Panas...Alexander Markeev (bass)
Patsyuk...Ruslan Rozyev (bass)
Woman with violet nose...Viktoria Smoinikova (soprano)
Woman with ordinary nose...Anastasia Proviznova (soprano)
State Symphony Capella of Russia Chorus
State Symphony Capella of Russia
Valery Polyansky (conductor)

Vaughan Williams Wasps Overture
BBC Concert Orchestra
Keith Lockhart (conductor).
AO3Rimsky-korsakov - Christmas Eve20151231 
AO3New Year New Music: Saariaho - Emilie20160107Jonathan Swain presents the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho's Émilie, recorded at Finnish National Opera, Helsinki, written to a libretto by Amin Maalouf. It is based on the life and writings of Marquise Émilie du Châtelet, the 18th century French mathematician, physicist, and author.
Émilie, premiered in Lyon in 2010, focuses on the love between a man and a woman and also on a passion for knowledge, science and truth. Saariaho says that in Émilie she was above all enchanted by the unusual, conflicting character of this exceptional woman. Émilie is best remembered today as Voltaire's lover rather than for her scientific achievements.
In a room in the Château de Lunéville, Émilie is working feverishly round the clock to complete her French translation of Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.
Saariaho: Émilie, opera in one act and nine scenes, monodrama for
Émilie du Châtelet - Camilla Nylund (soprano)
Marianna Henriksson (harpsichord)
Finnish National Opera Orchestra (reduced)
conductor André de Ridder
Followed by more for the New Year, New Music season:
Dallapiccola: Piccola musica notturna
Basel Sinfonietta
conductor Lavard Skou Larsen
Musgrave: The Seasons
BBC Symphony Orchestra
conductor Martyn Brabbins
David Matthews: Toward sunrise, Op.117
BBC Philhamonic
conductor Michael Seal.
AO3Humperdinck - Hansel And Gretel20160114Katie Derham presents Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, recorded at the Vienna State Opera last November. Deep in the forest Hansel and Gretel must use all their guile and trickery to avoid a nasty fate in this well-loved fairy tale. The German conductor Christian Thielemann, now Music Director at Bayreuth, gives his interpretation of this classic score by a Wagner devotee.

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel, opera in 3 acts

Peter - Clemens Unterreiner (baritone)
Gertrud - Janina Baechle (mezzo-soprano)
Hansel - Daniela Sindram (mezzo-soprano)
Gretel - Ileana Tonca (soprano)
Knusperhexe (Witch) - Michaela Schuster (mezzo-soprano)
Sandman/Dew Fairy - Annika Gerhards (soprano)
Children from the Vienna State Opera School
Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor Christian Thielemann.
AO3Humperdinck - Hansel And Gretel20160114Katie Derham presents Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, recorded at the Vienna State Opera last November. Deep in the forest Hansel and Gretel must use all their guile and trickery to avoid a nasty fate in this well-loved fairy tale. The German conductor Christian Thielemann, now Music Director at Bayreuth, gives his interpretation of this classic score by a Wagner devotee.

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel, opera in 3 acts

Peter - Clemens Unterreiner (baritone)
Gertrud - Janina Baechle (mezzo-soprano)
Hansel - Daniela Sindram (mezzo-soprano)
Gretel - Ileana Tonca (soprano)
Knusperhexe (Witch) - Michaela Schuster (mezzo-soprano)
Sandman/Dew Fairy - Annika Gerhards (soprano)
Children from the Vienna State Opera School
Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor Christian Thielemann.
AO3Humperdinck - Hansel And Gretel20160114 
 Afternoon On 320120503Katie Derham presents a memorable performance of Elgar's oratorio "The Apostles," recorded at King's College Cambridge at Easter. David Wilson-Johnson is Judas, as Elgar would have it: "An apostle misunderstood."
Elgar: The Apostles
Ailish Tynan (Blessed Virgin / Angel Gabriel)
Susan Bickley (Mary Magdalene)
Timothy Robinson (St John / Narrator)
Mark Stone (St Peter)
Roderick Williams (Jesus)
David Wilson-Johnson (Judas)
Ben Sau Lau (organ)
Philharmonia Chorus
BBC Concert Orchestra
Stephen Cleobury (conductor).
 Afternoon On 320120510Louise Fryer continues a week of performances from Berlin with Acts 1 and 2 of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg in a highl acclaimed production form the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Marek Janowski. Act 3 will be broadcast in tomorrow's Afternoon on 3.
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Acts 1 and 2
Hans Sachs....Albert Dohmen (baritone)
Veit Pogner....Georg Zeppenfeld (bass)
Kunz Vogelgesang....Clemens Bieber (tenor)
Konrad Nachtigall....Sebastian Noack (bass)
Sixtus Beckmesser....Dietrich Henschel (bass)
Fritz Kothner....Detlef Roth (bass)
Balthasar Zorn....Timothy Fallon (tenor)
Ulrich Eisslinger....Tobias Ebenstein (tenor)
Augustin Moser....Thorsten Scharnke (tenor)
Hermann Ortel....Tobias Berndt (bass)
Hans Schwarz....Greg Ryerson (bass)
Hans Foltz....Kouta Rasanen (bass)
Walther von Stolzing....Robert Dean Smith (tenor)
David....Christoph Strehl (tenor)
Eva....Edith Haller (soprano)
Magdalena....Michelle Breedt (soprano)
Nightwatchman....Matti Salminen (bass).
Berlin Radio Chorus
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Marek Janowski (conductor).



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  • Opera / Classical / Music / Performances and Events / BBC Symphony Orchestra / Genre: Opera, Classical, Music, Performances & Events